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3 1833 02140 1465 

Gc 977.2 In5 v. 7 No- i-10 

Indiana Historical Society 
Publ i cat ions 

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in 2013 




7*^ ,7 'volume vii 

'LO 19 23 



By Pierre-Georges Roy. Pages 1-130 

No. 2. Morgan's Raid in Indiana. 

By Judge Louis B. Ewbank. Pages 131-184 

No. 3. Reminiscences of the Early Marion County Bar. 

By William Watson Woollen. Pages 185-208 

No. 4. The National Road in Indiana. 

By Lee Burns. Pages 209-237 

No. 5. Early Indianapolis. 

By Mrs. Laura Fletcher Hodges. Pages 238-267 

No. 6. One Hundred Years in Public Health in Indiana. 

By Dr. W. F. King. Pages 268-291 

No. 7. Fort Wayne in 1790. 

By M. M. Quaife. Pages 293-361 

No. 8. Washington County Giants. 

By Harvey Morris. Pages 363-447 

No. 9. The Science of Columbus. 

By Elizabeth Miller Hack. Pages 449-480 

No. 10. Abraham Lincoln, Lawyer. 

By Charles N. Moores. Pages 481-535 



Vol. 7. No. 1. 

Sieur de Vincennes Identified 






On November 3, 1672, the Canadian fief of Vincennes was 
granted to Francois Bissot. On his death it passed to his son, 
Jean Baptiste Bissot, who died at the Indian village of Ki- 
ki-on-ga, the site of Fort Wayne, in 1719. From that date 
there has been found no official record of the ownership in 
Canada until 1749, when it passed by judicial decree to Joseph 
Roy. It is an interesting coincidence — for Indiana, a happy 
coincidence — that the centennial year of Indiana's statehood 
should have been made more memorable by the identification 
of the Sieur de Vincennes, who succeeded Jean Baptiste Bissot, 
and who founded the first permanent settlement in Indiana, by 
a descendant of Joseph Roy. Ever since Americans began the 
study of the early French history of this region, the identity 
of this Sieur de Vincennes has been almost as mysterious as 
that of the Man in the Iron Mask, or the author of the Letters 
of Junius. Judge Law, the first American who undertook any 
systematic investigation of the history of Vincennes, stated 
that he signed his name "Francois Morgan de Vinsenne" ; but 
Morgan is not a Canadian or French name, and the fief was 
in the Bissot family until 1749. But a sister of Jean Baptiste 
Bissot married Seraphin Margane, which is the French name 
most nearly approaching "Morgan", and it has generally been 
assumed that a son or grandson of hers must have been our 
Sieur de Vincennes. It has remained for M. Pierre-Georges 
Roy, an erudite Canadian writer, to unearth the conclusive 
documentary evidence that our founder was Francois Bissot, a 
son of Jean Baptiste Bissot, who was in the French military 
service at the same time as his father ; and that this Francois 
Bissot's godfather was his uncle Francois Margane. This 
clears the mystery, it being evident that Francois Bissot as- 



sumed his godfather's name, as was often done by the early 
Canadians, to distinguish himself from his father, who signed 
his name "Bissot de Vinsenne". The same document also 
establishes the fact that the first French post in Indiana was 
built at Fort Wayne in 1722, and gives us a definite point for 
the beginning of European settlement within our borders, 
although this post was not permanent, the post having been 
destroyed by the Indians in 1747. 

Pierre-Georges Roy, to whom Indiana is indebted for this 
information, was born at Levis, across the St. Lawrence from 
Quebec, October 23, 1870. He is the son of the Notary Leon 
Roy and Marguerite de Lavoye, being the twelfth child in a 
family of fourteen. One of his elder brothers was the dis- 
tinguished J. Edmond Roy, President of the Royal Society 
of Canada, and author of the History of the Seigneury of 
Lauzon. M. Leon Roy was able to give his family good 
educations, and Pierre-Georges graduated in turn from the 
College of Levis, the Seminary of Quebec, and the University 
of Laval. Literary by inclination, his first venture was the 
establishment, in 1890, of Le Glaneur, a magazine for young 
people, which was continued for two years. He then entered 
journalistic work on the Quotidien, at Levis, and the Canadien, 
at Quebec, and established Le Moniteur, at Levis, In 1894 he 
was made deputy Clerk of the Court of Appeals at Quebec, 
in which office he remained for twenty years, meanwhile con- 
tinuing his historical and literary researches. In 1895 he es- 
tablished Le Bulletin des Recherches Historiques, which has 
been, and still is, the great arena for Canadian historical dis- 
cussion, and is the recognized organ of the Societe des Etudes 
Historiques. In addition to editorial work, M. Roy is the 
author of numerous publications among which, with their dates 
of issue, are the following: 

La Reception de Mgr le Vicomte D'Argenson, 1890; Pre- 
mier Voyage de Jacques Cartier au Canada, 1890; Oraison 


Funebre du Comte de Frontenac, 1895; Les Troubles de 
L'Eglise du Canada en 1728, 1897; La Neuvieme Legislature 
de Quebec, 1897; Guide de Levis, 1898; Bibliographic de la 
Poesie Franco-Canadienne, 1900; La Famille Taschereau, 
1901 ; Notre-Dame de Bonsecours de L'Islet, 1901 ; Sainte- Julie 
de Somerset, 1901 ; La Dixieme Legislature de Quebec, 1901 ; 
Sainte-Antoine de Tilly, 1902 ; La Famille, Fremont, 1902 ; La 
Famille Juchereau Duchesnay, 1903 ; La Famille D'Estimau- 
ville de Beaumouchel, 1903; La Famille Tache, 1904; La 
Famille Godefroy de Tonnancour, 1904; Un Proces Criminel a 
Quebec au 17e Siecle, 1904; Oraison Funebre de Mgr de 
Pontbriand, 1905 ; La Famille DTrumberry de Salaberry, 1905 ; 
La Famille Rocbert de la Morandiere, 1905 ; La Famille des 
Champs de Boishebert, 1906 ; La Famille Panet, 1906 ; Oraison 
Funebre de Mgr Briand, 1906; Les Noms Geographiques de 
Quebec, 1906; La Famille Renaud D'Avene des Meloizes, 
1907; La Famille Aubert de Gaspe, 1907; La Famille Bois- 
seau, 1907; La Famille Adhemar de Lantagnac, 1908; La 
Famille Jarret de Vercheres, 1908; La Famille Mariauchau 
D'Esgly, 1908; La Famille Celoron de Blainville, 1909; La 
Famille de Ramezay, 1910; Autour de la Buvette, 1910; Le 
Grand Menteur, 1911; La Famille Bailly de Messein, 1911; 
La Famille des Bergeres de Rigauville, 1912; La Famille 
Faribault, 1913; La Famille Becard de Grandville, 1914; La 
Famille Viennay-Pachot, 1915; La Famille Foucault, 1915; 
La Famille Glackemeyer, 1915; La Famille Chavigny de 
la Chevrotier, 1,16; La Famille Margane de Lavaltrie, 1917; 
La Famille Guillimin, 1917; Inventaire D'une Collection de 
Pieces Judiciaires, Notariales, etc., etc., 2 vols. 1917; La Gla- 
neur, 2 vols. ; Le Moniteur, 2 vols ; Le Bulletin des Recherches 
Historiques, 23 vols, (1) 1895-1917. 

These works are historical with the exception of Autour 
de la Buvette and Le Grand Menteur, which are temperance 
arguments, M. Roy being a stalwart prohibitionist. Among 


the recognitions of his literary work have been his election 
to the Royal Society of Canada in 1904, the decoration of 
Officier de L'Instruction Publique from the French Govern- 
ment in 1905, the degree of Doctor of Letters from the Uni- 
versity of Laval in 1906, and the appointment of Federal 
Archivist of Quebec in 1915. For putting it in touch with M. 
Roy, the Indiana Historical Society is indebted to Hon. Merrill 
Moores, who visited Quebec in the summer of 1916, and 
learned that M. Roy had made a collection of documents 
concerning the Bissot family. Mr. Moores says of his visit : 

"I went to Quebec for the purpose of finding a repre- 
sentative of the Roy family, who I supposed would be still 
in possession of the seignory. I went to Buffalo and down by 
boat to Quebec, and was told by a priest on the boat that a 
lawyer and also a historian, brothers who belonged to the 
Roy family, which had possessed the seignory, were still liv- 
ing in Levis, across from the city of Quebec, the one being 
named Edmond and the other Georges. I crossed to Levis 
and made inquiries as to both of these gentlemen, and found 
that the lawyer, who had been a man of prominence, was 
dead. I then, with some difficulty, located the house of the 
man I had been told was a college professor and historian. 
His house was temporarily vacant, but a neighbor told me 
that I would find him at his country house to the east of 
Levis. Being unable to get a cab, I took a trolley car as 
far as it went and learned from a grocer where the country 
house was, and started across a tremendous meadow in the 
direction of the country house. In crossing the meadow I 
met a gentleman walking toward the city of Levis with a 
boy and a" girl, of about eleven and nine years old. I spoke 
to the gentleman in English and asked to be directed to 
the residence of Mr. Roy. He told me in French that he 
was Mr. Roy, and he and I walked back to Levis together 
He told me that the seignory was several miles to the east 


of where I had met him, and that his country house was 
only about half a mile east of there, and was on land 
which had belonged to the seignors, and was on the site of 
the old family tannery. Returning, he showed me where 
the bakery of the original Roy had been located. This had 
long ago disappeared. It seems that Bissot was the principal 
tanner and Roy the principal baker in early colonial days. 
I had an invitation from Mr. Roy who took me to his office 
at 23 Rue St. Louis, Quebec (which is a part of the old 
mansion occupied by the Duke of Kent, father of Queen 
Victoria, at the time when he was Governor General of 
Lower Canada). I had a very delightful visit with Mr. 
Roy, who, as I say, offered to drive me out to the old fief. 
But Congress was in session and I had to go back and 
could not get out. I have a promise from him, however, 
to show me the fief on my next visit to Quebec. It is 
between 600 and 700 acres, and is quadrangular in shape, 
being perhaps a quarter of a mile on the river and running 
back a considerable distance to the south of the river. It is 
directly south of the Isle d' Orleans. It is in the county of 
Bellechasse. The village of Beaumont is, I think, on the fief. 
The old fief now belongs to a Quebec lawyer named Gra- 
hame. I think his name is Stuart Grahame. Mr. Roy has 
written a great deal of Canadian history, particularly with 
regard to old Canadian families and early trials. He is not 
a lawyer, but is a professor in Laval University, and is Pub- 
lic Archivist of the Province. His cousin, Alfred Valere 
Roy, is the Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly for 
Quebec for the constituency of Levis; and another relative 
is Camille Roy, secretary of Laval University. Another is 
Paul Eugene Roy, auxiliary bishop of Quebec. Still an- 
other, Phillippe, is Commissioner of Canada, in France, and 
has been and possibly still is a Senator in the Canadian Sen- 


The Society is indebted to Mrs. Charles W. Moores for 
the translation of M. Roy's documents, which were in French; 
and also to Miss Belle Noble Dean, for typewriting the trans- 
The translations follow. 

J. P. DUNN, 
Secretary, Ind. Hist. Soc. 



The town of Pont-Audemer is today the chief place of 
the district of the department of l'Eure. Its population is 
a little more than six thousand souls. The actual town of 
Pont-Audemer is situated on the site of an ancient military 
post on the Roman road from Lillebonne to Lisieux. 

After the Norman conquest, Pont-Audemer formed the 
endowment of an important Norman family. One of the 
lords of the town, Onfroi, built the walls and the castle. In 
1122 the town was burned by Henry I of England, and the 
castle suffered a siege of seven weeks. In 1203 the seigniory 
of Pont-Audemer was confiscated by Richard the Lion-hearted. 
Then it was attached to the duchy of Normandy by John 
Lackland. The next year Pont-Audemer submitted to Philip 
Augustus, who established and extended its communal liber- 
ties. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries many provin- 
cial councils were held at Pont-Audemer, notably in 1244, 
1257, 1259, 1260, 1265, 1267, 1269, 1279, 1286, 1291, 1305, 
13321. In the fourteenth century likewise many of the Nor- 
man states held their councils at Pont-Audemer. 

On the second of February, 1353, John the Good, among 
other domains abandoned the viscounty of Pont-Audemer to 
the king of Navarre, Charles the Bad. This town was then 
by many seiges disputed between the troops of Navarre and 
the royal armies. In 1378 Du Guesclin and admiral Jean de 
Vienne took possession of it and razed the walls and the castle. 
Charles the Third the Noble, son of Charles the Bad, re- 


nounced his rights over Pont-Audemer in consideration of a 
sum of ready money. In 1418 Pont-Audemer fell into the 
power of the English. In the following year, Dunois re- 
occupied it in the name of the king of France. During the 
religious wars the town was taken and retaken several times 
by the protestants and the catholics. 

Pont-Audemer was in the middle ages an important port. 
It is said to have furnished sixty ships to the expedition of 
William the Conqueror. Pont-Audemer is now no more than 
a little river port frequented annually by about five hundred 
ships of different tonnage. Since the eleventh century the 
inhabitants of the town have been engaged successfully in the 
manufacture of fabrics and the preparation of leather. The 
making of paper was already flourishing in the fifteenth cen- 
tury. These three industries have continued at Pont-Audemer 
until our time. Francois Bissot de la Riviere, who introduced 
tanneries so successfully in New France, had been then in a 
good school. 

Pont-Audemer still possesses some beautiful monuments. 
Notably the church of Saint-Oeun, whose choir goes back to 
the eleventh century ; the church of Notre-Dame du Pre, where 
Francois Bissot de la Riviere was baptized, of which there 
remains a nave which is considered to go back to the twelfth 
century; the church of Saint-Germain la Campagne, which 
has also a nave of the eleventh century.* 

*This information about Pont-Audemer is taken from The History 
of the Town of Pont-Audemer, from the Dietionaire Historique du 
Department de L'Eure and from the Grande Encyclopedic 



Francois Bissot de la Riviere. 

Francois Bissot de la Riviere was originally from Pont- 
Audemer, a town of ancient Normandy, which today forms a 
part of the department of 1'Eure. Born in the parish of 
Notre-Dame des Pres, he was a son of "the honorable man", 
Jean Bissot du Gommer and of Marie Assour. Bissot went 
to New France before 1639. He died at the Hotel-Dieu 
of Quebec on the 26th of July, 1673, age fifty-nine years, 
and was buried in the cemetery of the hospital. 

On the 25th of October, 1648, Francois Bissot de la 
Riviere married at Quebec, Marie Couillard, daughter of 
Guillaume Couillard and of Guillemette Hebert. Two years 
after the death of Francois Bissot de la Riviere, on the 7th of 
September, 1675, at Quebec, Marie Couillard married again, 
Jacques de Lalande-Gayon, son of Pierre de Lalande-Gayon 
and of Marie d'Arasne, of the town of Bayonne. Madame 
de Lalande died at Saint-Pierre in the island of Orleans on the 
22d of June, 1703, and was buried the next day in the ceme- 
tery of this parish. Jacques de Lalande-Gayon, after the 
death of his wife, was certainly settled in France for six 
years.* From the marriage of Francois de la Riviere and of 
Marie Couillard were born twelve children: 

*Jacques deL&lande-Gayon, however, went to Quebec in 1704, 
probably to arrange the inheritance of his wife but he soon returned 
to France. From the marriage of Jacques de Lalande-Gayon and of 
Marie Couillard there was born at Quebec a son on the 26th of June, 
1677: Jacques-Marie de Lalande-Gayon. He became captain of ves- 
sel in the service of the king of Spain. By his will, received at 
Bayonne on the 3rd of August, 1753, before the notary Duclercq, he 
gave to his nephew, Louis de Lafontaine, the eldest son of M. de 


1 — Jean-Francois Bissot. 

Born at Quebec the 6th of December, 1649; died in the 
same place on the 25th of November, 1653. He was buried 
the next day in the chapel of St. Joseph of the parish church, 
on the right side of the altar. 

2 — Louise Bissot. 

Born at Quebec the 25th of September, 1651 ; married at 
Quebec the 12th of August, 1668, to Seraphin Margane de La- 
valtrie, lieutenant of a company of a regiment of Lignieres, son 
of Sebastien Margane and of Denise Tonnot, of the parish 
of Saint-Benoit, town and archbishopric of Paris. 

M. Margane de Lavaltrie died at Montreal May 16, 1699, 
and was buried the next day in the parish church. Madame 
de Lavaltrie survived her husband almost thirty-four years 
before she died at Montreal, March 1, 1733.* From their mar- 
riage eleven children were born : five sons and six daughters. 
Two of their sons were killed in the service of the king. An- 
other, after having lived in Labrador for many years and hav- 
ing raised a family, became a priest. The one who continued 
the line died at an advanced age after having served under 
the crowns of France and England. The daughters all made 
distinguished marriages. The family Margane de Lavaltrie 
died out among us at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

M. Benjamin Suite (Le Regiment de Carignan, p. 85) makes her 
die in 1691. 

3 — Genevieve Bissot. 

Born at Quebec May 25, 1653 ; married at Quebec June 12, 
1673, to Louis Maheu, son of the late Rene Maheu and the 

Lafontaine de Belcour and of Charlotte Bissot, all his property, his 
rights and law suits which he might have in Canada, on condition 
that he lend assistance and aid to his sister with whom the said 
testator recommended him to live on good terms and with friendship. 
M. de Lalande-Gayon valued the property he left in this manner 
to Louis de Lafontaine at the sum of eight thousand livres. 


late Marguerite Corriveau. M. Maheu died in his house in 
the lower town of Quebec November 24, 1683, and was buried 
on the 26th in the parish cemetery. M. J. Edmond Roy elates 
an annoying adventure which happened to the widow Maheu ; 
"Nicolas Daneau Sieur de Muy, captain of a companv of in- 
fantry, and who was to be later appointed governor of 
Louisiana, courted her. He had promised marriage and the 
terms of the betrothal had been solemnly agreed upon, when 
one fine day suddenly the amorous one disappeared. It was 
learned in the spring of 1687 that he was about to marry 
at Boucherville a granddaughter of Pierre Boucher, the old 
governor of Trois-Rivieres. In spite of the protestations of 
the discarded beauty, M. de Caumont, then missionary at 
Boucherville, married the faithless one to Mile. Marguerite 
Boucher. A law suit was begun in the court of the provost 
at Quebec, and the priest who had celebrated the marriage 
was summoned to explain himself. They were summoned to 
the bishop's court, the pledges of the fickle officer were seized. 
The situation threatened to become more and more compli- 
cated when, to avoid too great a scandal, it was decided that 
M. de Muy should pay a compensation of 350 livres to the 
widow, and that the affair should be forgotten.* 

We after that lose sight of the widow Maheu. 

On April 4, 1869, the Covereign Council rendered an im- 
portant judgment in a law suit begun by Francois Vianney 
Pachot, merchant of Quebec, against the widow Maheu. She 
had obtained the possession of the effect of the renunciation 
which she had made to the common possession which had 
existed between her and her late husband. She was, how- 

*Historie de la seigneurie de Lauzon. vol. 1. p. 250. Concern- 
ing Nicolas Daneau de Muy consult the Bulletin Des Recherches 
Historiques, vol. X, p. 345. 


ever, sentenced to give back the sum of 240 livres and 10 
deniers into the sum total of the personal effect of the said 
common possession.! 

4 — Catherine Bissot. 

Born at Quebec March 6, 1655. Married at Saint-Joseph 
de la Pointe-Levy Nov. 27, 1670, to Etienne Charest, son 
of the late Pierre Charest and of Renee Marie of the parish 
of Sainte-Radegonde, city and bishopric of Poitiers. Madame 
Charest died at Saint- Joseph de la Pointe-Levy in 1694.* M. 
Charest died at the same place May 5, 1699, and was buried 
the next day in the parish church. Of the marriage of Etienne 
Charest and Catherine Bissot were born ten children. One 
of them, Etienne Charest, was, in 1763, sent to England as a 
deputy of the people to beg the king of Great Britain to grant 
his new subjects a bishop to be governor of the church of 
Canada. The family Charest left Canada in 1765. 

5 — Claire-Francoise Bissot. 

Born at Quebec April 13, 1656. Married at Quebec Octo- 
ber 7, 1675, to Louis Jolliet, son of the late Jean Jolliet and 
of Marie d'Abancourt. Louis Jolliet died between May and 
September, 1700, on one of the Mingan islands or on the 
island of Anticosti. We know nothing definite on this point. 
Madame Jolliet died at Quebec March 1, 1710, and was buried 
the next day at the parish church. 

Of the marriage of Louis Jolliet and Claire-Francoise Bis- 

tJugeinents et Deliberations Du Conseil Souveram, vol. Ill, p. 313. 
*The act of the burial of Madame Charest cannot be found in the 
register, but an entry made in the account book of the vestry board 
allows no doubt of the date of her death. In the giving in of the 
account of the church warden Guillaume Albert for 1694: "I have 
received from M. Charest fourteen pounds which he owes for the 
burial of his wife." The following year the church warden received 
thirty-four pounds, the balance of the exepense of this burial." (A 
note of M. Edmond Roy.) 


sot there were born seven children. Their two sons Jean- 
Baptiste Jolliet de Mingan and Charles Jolliet d' Anticosti, 

have numerous descendant- in the province of Quebec. Louise 
Grignon, the daughter of Jean Grignon, who married Marie 
Genevieve Jolliet.. the eldest daughter of Louis Jolliet. became 
the wife of the baron of Castelnau. 

6 — Marie Bissot. 

Born at Quebec July 3. 1657; married at Quebec December 
5, 1682, to Claude Porlier, merchant, son of the late Claude 
Porlier and of Marie-Madeleine Sylvain. of the parish of 
Saint-Severin, city and archbishopric of Paris. 

M. Porlier died at Quebec July 31, 1689, and was buried 
in the parish church. Marie Bissot married again at Quebec. 
February 26. 1691. Jacques Gourdeau. of Beaulieu, son of 
Jacques Gourdeau de Beaulieu, citizen, and Eleonore de 
Grandmaison. Madame Gourdeau de Beaulieu died at Quebec 
July 23, 1719, and was buried in the parish church the next 
day. M. Gourdeau de Beaulieu died in his turn July 2, 1721.* 

Marie Bissot had children by her two marriages. The 
Porlier family died out among us about the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. The Gourdeau are still numerous in the dis- 
trict of Quebec. Colonel Gourdeau ex- sub minister of the 
Marine, is descended from Jacques G. de B. and Marie Bissot. 

7 — GuiUaume Bissot. 

Born at Quebec September 16. 1661. 

In the inventory of the property of Francois Bissot de 
la Riviere made April 27, 1676. by the notary Becquet. it is 

•Neither Mgr. Tangnay nor the registers of Notre Dame of Que- 
bec mention the death of M. Gourdeau. We have found this informa- 
tion in a request addressed to the Superior Council of Quebec in Octo- 
ber, 1732. by Jacques G. de B., son of Jacques G. de B. and of Marie 
Bissot, to obtain some letters of inheritance without liability to debts 
beyond assets descended. 


said that Louis jolliet is the guardian of the minor Bissots 
among others Guillaume fifteen years old. 

On the other hand, in the census by name of the colony 
of New France made in 1681, there is no mention of Guil- 
laume Bissot. From which one can conclude that he died be- 
tween 1676 and 1681. 

8 — Charles-Francois Bissot. 

Born at Quebec February 5, 1654. 

He was married at Montreal, February 28, 1699, to Anne- 
Frangois Forestier, daughter of Antoine Forestier, surgeon, 
and of Marie-Madeleine Cavelier. M. Bissot carried on busi- 
ness at Mingan for twenty years. In 1705 he turned his energies 
toward the island of Terre Neuve where he had rented the 
fief and seigniory of Port-a-Choix in order to carry on there 
fishing and trading. We lose sight of him from this time. 
It is possible that he died at Terre-Neuve and also his wife 
and Frangois Forestier. We know of one child Marie Made- 
leine Bissot born at Montreal December 5, 1699; died at La- 
chine March 22, 1718. 

9— Marie-Charlotte Bissot. 

Marie-Charlotte Bissot, born at Quebec June 4, 1666. Mar- 
ried at Saint-Joseph de la Pointe-Levy, February 25, 1686, 
to Pierre Benac, a native of Bayonne, merchant of Quebec. 
In 1690 M. Benac was controller general of the farms of the 
king in New France. M. Benac returned to France toward 
the end of the 17th century. His wife followed him there 
since our parish registers nowhere mention her burial. 

Father Paul du Poisson, Jesuit, traveling in Louisiana in 
the summer of 1727, wrote to his confere father, Louis Pa- 
touillet: "We left the Chapitoulas on the 29th. Although a 
larger canoe had been sent us, and in spite of the new ar- 
rangement of our party, we had almost as much discomfort 


as before. We had only two miles to go that day in order 
that we might spent the night at Cannes Boulees, at the house 
of M. de Benac, director of the concession of M. D'Artagnan. 
He received us with friendship and regaled us with a Mis- 
sissippi carp which weighed thirty-five pounds." 

Could this M. de Benac who received so well the mission- 
ary Jesuit be our Benac? At all events we have no trace of 
M. Benac or of his wife after their departure from Canada. 

10 — Jean-Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes. 

Known by the name Jean ; was born at Quebec January 19, 
1668. He was an officer in the troops of the detachment of 
the Marine; and died among the Miamis in 1719. 

M. Bissot de Vincennes married at Montreal, September 
19, 1696, Marguerite Forestier, daughter of Antoine Forestier, 
surgeon, and of Marie-Madeleine Cavelier. Madame Bissot 
de Vincennes died at Montreal September 27, 1748, and was 
buried the next day in the parish church. Of the marriage 
of Jean Baptiste Bissot and Marguerite Forestier there were 
born seven children : 

(1) Marie-Louise Bissot de Vincennes — Born at Mon- 
treal June 20, 1697; married at Quebec, June 4, 1741, to Nico- 
las Boisseau, chief clerk of the provost of Quebec, widower 
of Marie-Anne Page de Quercy. She died at Quebec June 14, 
1766. M. Boisseau died in the same place February 9, 1771. 

(2) Claire-Charlotte Bissot de Vincennes — Born at Que- 
bec May 6, 1698; a nun of the congregation of Notre-Dame, 
under the name of Soeur de 1' Ascension. Died at Montreal 
April 25, 1773, and was buried on the 27th in the chapel of 
the Infant Jesus of the parish church. 

(3) Frangois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes — Born at Mon- 
treal June 17, 1700. Officer in the troops of the detachment 
of the Marines. Founder of the post of Vincennes. Burned 


to death by the Chicksaws on the Mississippi* on the 25th of 
March, 1736. 

He had married in 1733 Longpre, daughter of 

Philippe Longpre of Kaskaskia. Of this marriage were born 
two daughters, Marie Therese, who became the wife of M. 
de L'Isle and Catherine. 

(4) Marguerite-Catherine Bissot de Vincennes — Born at 
Montreal September 10, 1701. Died at the Hotel-Dieu at 
Quebec May 3, 1767, and was buried the next day in the con- 
vent cemetery. 

(5) Catherine Bissot de Vincennes — Born at Montreal 
October 11, 1704. Died at the general hospital of the Gray 
Sisters at Montreal September 20, 1778, and was buried the 
22d in the cemetery near the parish church. 

(6) Michel Bissot de Vincennes — Born October, 1706. 
Died at Montreal January 10, 1709. 

(7) Pierre Bissot de Vincennes — Born at Montreal Au- 
gust 27, 1710. Died in the same place August 29, 1710. 

11 — Jeanne Bissot. 

Born at Quebec April 10, 1671. Married at Quebec April 
7, 1687, to Philippe Clement du Valult de Valrennes, captain of 
a company of the troops of the detachment of the Marine, 
son of the late Antoine C du V, de V. and of Frangoise De 
Coeur of the parish of Saint-Germain de la Potherie, bishopric 
of Beauvais. May 1, 1698, M. de Valrennes, weakened in 
consequence of his severe campaigns, obtained his discharge. 
He left for France with his wife in the autumn of 1698. 

Madame de Valrennes was still living in 1708, since on 
the sixth of June of that year the minister wrote to M. 
l'Abbe de Mignon to ask him if the widow Valrennes whom 

♦According to the most probable opinion M. de Vincennes and bis 
companions were burned near Fulton in Lee County, Miss. 


he had recommended to him was French or Canadian, and if 
she was of noble family. 

12 — Francois-Joseph Bissot. 

Born at Quebec May 19, 1673. Married at Quebec Febru- 
ary 4, 1698, to Marie Lambert-Dumont, daughter of the late 
Eustache Lambert-Dumont, who when he was living was a 
citizen and merchant of Quebec, and of Marie Vanneck. M. 
Bissot died at Quebec December 11, 1737, and was buried 
the next day in the parish church under his pew. Madame 
Bissot died at Quebec May 3, 1745, and was also buried in 
the parish church. Of their marriage there were born nine 
children : 

(1) Louise-Claire Bissot — Born at Quebec June 23, 1701. 
Married at Quebec, May 13, 1726, to Jean Fournel, son of 
Jean Fournel and of Marthe Crespin of the parish of Saint 
Caparacy, bishopric of Agen. M. and Mme. Fournel died in 

(2) Charlotte Bissot— Born at Quebec April 30, 1704. 
Married at Quebec, October 24, 1728, to Jacques de Lafon- 
taine de Belcour, son of Jean de Lafontaine, officer of the king 
and of Bernardine Jouin, of the parish of Versailles. She 
died at Quebec November 21, 1749, and was buried the next 
day in the parish church. M. de Lafontaine de Belcour died 
at Quebec June 18, 1765. They had several children. A 
number of their descendants still live in the district of Quebec. 

(3) Francois-Etienne Bissot — Born at Quebec May 26, 
1708. Died in the same place February 7, 1726. Buried 
in the parish cemetery. 

(4) Jean Bissot — Born at Quebec November 30, 1711. 
Died in the same place December 1, 1711. Buried in the 
parish cemetery. 

(5) Joseph Bissot— Born at Quebec September 4, 1713. 


Died at Saint-Augustine November 3, 1713. Buried in the 
parish cemetery. 

(6) Marie Bissot— Born at Mingan December, 1715. 
Died at Quebec August 18, 1720. Buried the next day in 
the parish cemetery. 

(7) Louise Bissot — Born at Mingan August, 1718. Died 
at Quebec November 9, 1730. Buried the next day in the 
parish cemetery. 

(8) Angelique Bissot— Born at Quebec December 12, 
1719. Married at Quebec, September 17, 1737, to Jean Bap- 
tiste Poitevin de la Salmonais, son of the nobleman Henri 
Poitevin-Desorme and of the late Jeanne-Olive Arsan, of the 
parish of Saint Malo. This union was of short duration. In 
the autumn of the same year 1737 M. Poitevin de la Sal- 
monais set sail for Martinique on the ship Le Prudent, com- 
manded by Charles Cotterelle of Maine. He died in the course 
of this voyage. Of this marriage there was born a posthumous 
child, Marie Angelique Poitevin de la Salmonais, born at Que- 
bec the 11th of July, 1738. After the death of her husband 
the widow Poitevin went to France to obtain the allowance of 
her matrimonial rights. On September 3, 1743, by the inter- 
vention of Jacques de Lafontaine, her brother-in-law, she de- 
manded from the Lieutenant General of the Provost of Que- 
bec to call together an assemblage of her relatives in order to 
select from among them a guardian and to allow her to re- 
marry. The assemblage of her relatives took place the next 
day and the widow Poitevin de la Salmonais received permis- 
sion to marry a second time the sieur Alexander-Jean Devaux, 
receiver of customs at Saint Malo, "or with any other who 
presented himself and suited her". In 1745 she was still a 
widow and lived at Rouen. 

(9) Marie-Charlotte Bissot — Born at Mingan March 4, 


1722. Married at Quebec, October 3, 1736, Jean-Pierre-Fran- 
cois Vederic, the son of Francois Vederic and of Julie Houet, 
of the parish Notre-Dame de Havre de Grace, the diocese of 

The census of the parish of Quebec in 1744 shows us 
that Francois Vederic navigator, thirty-five years old, and his 
wife Marie Bissot lived at that time at Quebec. The census 
gives them one child, Jacques Francois, seven years old. We 
then lose sight of M. Vederic. The widowed Mme. Vederic 
retired to the convent hospital of Quebec. She died in this 
hospital June 7, 1772, and was buried the next day in the 
cemetery of the nuns of the convent. 

(Grandfather of Francois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes.) 

The presence of Francois Bissot, sieur de la Riviere, is 
noticed for the first time in an act of notary of 1647. He 
might possibly have come to Canada before this year. Fer- 
land, w r ho is so conscientious an investigator that one rarely 
finds him at fault, gives the name of Bissot in a list of colon- 
ists who came to Canada between 1641 and 1647, without 
giving precise information about it.* 

Francois Bissot came originally from Pont-Audemer, a 
town of ancient Normandy, which now forms part of the de- 
partment de l'Eure. His family lived in the parish of Notre- 
Dame des Pres. They were of good bourgeois stock, since 
the documents of the period speak of the father of Francois 
Bissot, Jean Bissot, sieur du Gommer, as "an honorable man." 

*M. l'abbe Ferland is mistaken. Bissot was already in Quebec 
in 1039. July 2, 1639, be was present wben tbe Jesuits took posses- 
sion of tbe island Aux Ruanx. See tbe Bulletin des Recbercbes His- 
toriques, Vol. II, p. 88. 


Bissot first placed his estate on the coast of Lauzon, on 
point Levy. This seigniory, conceded since 1636, was still 
wild and uncultivated. The exploration which Father Druil- 
lettes made along the right bank of the St. Lawrence in 1646, 
in going up the river from the falls of the Chaudiere in order 
to get to New England, seems to have given the firs-t im- 
pulse toward establishments opposite Quebec. 

The first house was built on Point-Levy the same year 
that Father Druillettes returned, 1647. Bissot had gone into 
partnership with one of his Norman compatriots, the fa- 
mous interpreter, Guillaume Couture, to begin the develop- 
ment of his land. In the summer of 1647 one could have 
seen the former companion of Father Jogues wielding the 
axe in the midst of the great forests which then covered the 
coast. By autumn he had felled a certain number of trees 
and finished a little hut, a rustic dwelling made of roughly 
hewn timber. Bissot, who had contributed to the expense 
and furnished the material for construction, arranged with 
Couture to pay him two hundred livres for his work and 
to allow him possession of the clearing until Michaelmas 
1648. (Agreement signed November 4, 1647. GrerTe Claude 

October 15, 1648, Jean de Lauzon, who then lived in 
Paris, granted to these two first copyhold tenants the regu- 
lar titles of concession. The estates of Bissot and of Couture 
were neighboring. They each contained two hundred sur- 
face acres, five acres of frontage on the river and forty acres 
of depth inland. A little brook which flowed headlong into 
the river near Indian Cove twenty paces from the station of 
the Intercolonial separated the two estates. Couture lived 
on the right bank of the brook; Bissot occupied the left. The 
brook was held in common by the two colonists. 

Between the two farms a road eighteen feet wide was 


to run toward the great royal road projected all the way 
to the river. Jean Bourdon, engineer and surveyor, had 
already traced its limits himself in 1647. Bissot was to pay 
to his seignior each year twelve deniers of quit rent for each 
acre cultivated and changed into arable land or into meadow 
land, and to send to the fiscal agent at Michaelmas twenty- 
five salted and well seasoned eels. He had to have his land 
tilled within three years under penalty of revocation of the 
title. On his side the seignior reserved the right of repur- 
chase in case of sale according to the custom of Normandy. 

Bissot went to France in 1649 and returned from there 
in July. On August 9, 1653, Bissot was named deputy in 
the syndic body of Quebec to represent there the post of 
Lauzon. The seignior of Lauzon, absent from the country, 
could not fulfil toward his tenants the obligations which the 
feudal regime imposed upon him. Since 1655 Bissot had 
had a mill on Point Levy where the colonists could bring 
their grain to be ground. The brook which separated the 
estate of Bissot from that of Couture turned the mill stone. 
In order to have all the property rights of this stream of 
water, Bissot arranged with Couture that he would grind 
his grain gratuitously for twenty years. 

Bissot de la Riviere, while he was clearing his land on 
Point-Levy, lived most of the time in Quebec. In the cen- 
sus of 1667 one finds on the farm at Lauzon three servants : 
Jean Guay, twenty-eight years old; Martin l'Enfile, twenty- 
nine years old; Pierre Perrot, thirty-two years old. 

He seems to have wished to group around his colonial 
estate people from Normandy. Guillaume Couture, with 
whom he had originally contracted a partnership for clear- 
ing the land was Norman like himself and possessed, in 
France, land situated at la Haye-Aubraye, fifteen kilometres 
from Pont-Audemer. Among the compatriots of Bissot set- 


tied on Point-Levy there was Louis Begin, the ancestor of 
Cardinal Begin, who was originally from Lieurey, a little 
parish in the suburbs of Pont-Audemer. Frangois Becquet, 
who bought a piece of land in Lauzon, April 6, 1660, was a 
nephew of Frangois Bissot. He came from Notre-Dame des 
Preaux, a parish situated six kilometres from Pont-Audemer. 
The families Lebieux, Chartier, Pourveau came likewise 
from Normandy. 

A letter from Governor jean de Lauzon, dated Paris, 
March 8, 1664, gives to Bissot a new concession of ten acres 
of land fronting along the river St. Lawrence and forty in 
depth. This concession touched on one side the rives des 
Etchemins and on the other side Jean Adam. It took in all 
the islands situated at the mouth of this river and the rights 
of hunting and fishing. M. de Lauzon said in his letter 
that he wished in this way to recompense Bissot for the good 
services which he had rendered to the people of the seigniory. 

Bissot, representing the tenants of Lauzon in the syndic 
body, had indeed renedered them considerable service, but 
the family of Lauzon owed him still more recognition. For 
it was he who had discharged the obligation of building a 
common mill, since the seigniory, sparsely settled, could not 
yet yield a sufficient revenue to grind its own grain. He took 
part also in the organization of seigniorial justice. He was 
made fiscal agent toward the end of 1650 and succeeded 
Charles Sevestre as provost judge. Bissot filled this last 
office until his death. 

After the death of the governor of Lauzon and the tragic 
disappearance of most of the members of his family, he took 
the seigniory by farm-hold, in partnership with Eustache Lam- 
bert, and gave himself up to its development. In 1668, when 
the metropole ordered that the seignors render faith and 
homage and make the avowal and enumeration of their lands, 


Bissot presented himself to the controller and demanded allow- 
ance for the minors of the Lauzon family. 

In the autumn of 1672, November 2, Bissot obtained in 
his turn a seignioral domain in the neighborhood of Lauzon. 
This property consisting of seventy acres of frontage and a 
mile of depth was bordered on the east by the seigniory of 
Beaumont, which Talon granted on the same day to Couillard 
des Uets de Beaumont. It is this seigniory acquired in 1672 
by Bissot which has since carried the name of Vincennes. 
Bissot began clearing in 1670. November 24th of this same 
year he sold to Jean Poliquin four acres of frontage and 
forty acres of depth in a place called la Petite-Peche. The 
brook of la Petite-Peche crossed the ancient domain of Vin- 
cennes, already inhabited by the family Faucher de Saint- 
Maurice and had for a long time turned the wheel of an 
old community mill built by the seignior Joseph Roy, father- 
in-law of this Corpron, a partner of Bigot, who stored grain 
there when Quebec suffered a most dreadful famine. 

Formerly Pont-Audemer, the ancestral town of Bissot, 
was noted for its maritime fisheries, and its fishers had no 
equal in the salting of herring. Bissot all the time he was 
cultivating his lands and clearing the forests of Canada wanted 
to exploit the immense resources of our great river. In the 
autumn of 1630 he formed a partnership with Simon Guyon, 
Courville, Lespinay, de Tilly and Godefroy to go after seals 
near Tadoussac. Beside fishing for seals the partners de- 
sired to attract the savages at Tadoussac and to trade there 
in beaver skins. Godefroy went to France to obtain the right 
of this fishery from the company and to associate M. Rozee 
for an eighth partner. Courville, Lespinay and Simon Guyon 
had made a voyage on the Saguenay in the month of October 
to enter into an alliance with the savages, and they had 


brought back from this first excursion about three hundred 
beaver skins. 

On the 4th of March, 1663, M. d'Avaugour leased the 
trading rights of Tadoussac for two years to Frangois Bissot, 
la Tesserie, des Cartes, Le Gardeur, de Tilly, Despres, 
Juchereau de la Ferte, Damours, Charron, Bourdon, Juche- 
reau de Saint-Denis (Judgments et Deliberations du Conseil 
Souverain, t. 1. p. 11), but this lease was broken in the Octo- 
ber following by M. de Mesy. 

Bissot, seeing the kingdom of the Saguenay closed to him, 
directed his attention toward the desert regions of Labrador, 
where up to this time only the Spaniards in company with 
the Basques had dared to fish. 

In the winter of 1661, on February 25th, Bissot obtained 
from the Company of New France the island aux Oeufs, 
situated below Tadoussac toward the Pellean mountains of 
the north coast about forty miles from Tadoussac, with the 
right of hunting and of establishing on the land in whatever 
place he would find most convenient still fishing for seal, 
whales, porpoises and other kinds of fish from the island aux 
Oeufs to Sept-Iles and in la Grande-Anse, in the country of 
the Esquimaux where the Spaniards were still fishing. He 
obtained at the same time the right to take, in these places, 
the woods and the land necessary to establish his estate there. 

It is this island, so celebrated for the shipwTeck of the 
fleet of the English admiral Walker, on which Bissot began 
to put down the foundations of his first establishment for 
still fishing. It is nothing but a sterile rock, barren of all 
vegetation, about three-quarters of a mile long. In the crevices 
of the granite rocks they built huts for the fishers. 

Bissoa had first established himself on the island aux 
Oeufs in order to protect his property from the incursions 


of the savage Esquimaux, the fiercest and most barbarous 
of men. Later he carried his settlement to the extreme end 
of the harbor of Mingan, and there constructed a little fort 
of logs. Bissot directed these distant developments from 
Quebec. Each spring his ships laden with outfits for fishing 
and merchandise for trading left the little capitol, and only 
returned once, when the season was finished. 

During the year 1668 Bissot began a tannery on Point- 
Levy, on the land which he had obtained in 1648 from the 
seignior de Lauzon. The brook which was the border line 
between the farms of Couture and of Bissot and which turned 
the wheel of the mill was damaged. A large wooden canal 
carried the water from it and took it to the tanning vats. The 
intendent Talon during the year 1668 increased the "denier" 
of the king to be employed in the construction of the build- 
ings necessary to this new enterprise to a sum of 3,268 livres. 
This advance considerable for the time was later reimbursed 
in large part by the Bissot heirs. 

The community to aid Bissot in his enterprise lent him 
besides a sum of 1,500 livres at ten per cent, interest. This 
tannery, the first which one could have seen in Canada, had 
a great success. Much was expected of it, and the first at- 
tempts succeeded perfectly. From the second year the profits 
realized surpassed all expectations. 

Bissot had set going three projects: the cultivation of the 
land, fishing and the making of leather. All three kept pace 
with each other, and Bissot was in a way to make his for- 
tune. The little hut which he had had built by Couture in 
the autumn of 1647 had disappeared long ago to make room 
for a long, comfortable house. Beautiful golden harvests 
covered the meadows. The mill wheel turned constantly on 
the little babbling brook. The land produced grain as if 


by enchantment. The meadows of l'Etchemin furnished fer- 
tile pasturage. Down there on the heights of Cape Saint- 
Claude the seigniory of Vincennes began to be populated. 
Each autumn on St. Martins day there was brought to the 
great white house hidden under the elms of Point-Levy fat 
capons, eels and the quit rent money. The road which led 
to the Bissot dwelling became a sort of bridge d' Avignon 
where everyone had to pass to go to the river and to the 
town. A considerable business was also done there. 

The development of the still fishing of Labrador went mar- 
velously. This sort of industry was considered one of as- 
sured profits. Talon wrote, that it was so, to the king in 
1671, informing him of the success of Bissot. The seal fishery 
exploited by Denis, Bissot and Riverin produced enough 
oil for local consumption and for exportation not only to 
France but to the Antilles. Talon, who wished to establish 
favorable relations with these colonies, sent them shipments 
of fish, of peas, of clap boards and of planks. 

Frangois Bissot de la Riviere died at Quebec on Sainte 
Amies day, July 26, 1673. He was buried in the cemetery 
of V Hotel-Dieu. 1 

(Uncle of Frangois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes.) 

Born at Quebec, February 5, 1664, of the marriage of 
Frangois Bissot de la Riviere and Marie Couillard. 

On November 3, 1672, M. Talon, intendant, granted to 
Frangois Bissot de la Riviere for his sons Jean Baptiste Bis- 
sot de Vincennes and Charles-Frangois Bissot (1), a fief of 
seventy acres of land fronting on a mile of depth along the 

1 J. Eclmond Roy, Francois Bissot, vein de la Riviere, pp. 31 

et seq. I 


river St. Lawrence, from the land belonging to the Sieur de 
la Citiere to the land not yet conceded. This formed the 
fief or seigniory of Vincennes. 

On May 16, 1689, Charles-Frangois Bissot, heir to an 
eighth in the succession from his father, sold to Etienne 
Charest, his brother-in-law, all that belonged to him and was 
to revert to him of the land, buildings, mills, and tannery of 
Point-Levy. This sale was made for a thousand livres. 

On March 5, 1694, Charles-Francois Bissot, heir to an 
eighth of the land situated on the river of the Etchemins, 
sold to Pierre Benac, his brother-in-law, the part and por- 
tion belonging to him and reverting to him in the said land 
of the river of the Etchemins. This sale was made for 
forty livres. M. Benac was, however, to pay the seigniorial 
due which might be charged to the said portion. 

On March 21, 1695, Louis Marchand, part seignior of 
the seigniories of Vincennes and Mingan, granted to Charles- 
Frangois Bissot, also part seignior of the seigniory of Vin- 
cennes, dwelling on the coast of Lauzon, permission to carry 
on trade, traffic and business in the land and seigniory of 
Mingan and dependant places as well as fishing for cod and 
other fish, for the space of three consecutive years beginning 
in the spring of 1695, and also for all the time that the said 
sieur Marchand should be absent from Quebec in the country 
of the Ottawas, where he intended going the following spring, 
in case that he should stay there longer than the said three 
years. In return, M. Bissot was to pay him for each year a 
sum of fifty livres. 

On November 9, 1695, Charles-Francois Bissot, Francois 
Joseph Bissot, Louis Jolliet and Charles Jolliet formed a part- 
nership for the space of five years to go to Mingan and carry 
on business on the property of the late Francois Bissot de 


la Riviere from the island aux Oeufs to the Bay des Espag- 

On April 25, 1697, Charles-Francois Bissot and the other 
heirs of Francois Bissot de la Riviere leased and farmed out 
the seigniory of Mingan to Louis Jolliet for five years. After 
the death of Louis Jolliet in 1700 Charles-Francois Bissot 
and Frangois-Joseph Bissot formed a partnership with the 
sons of the discoverer to continue the enterprise at Mingan. 
In 1703 Francois Hazeur advanced a sum of four thousand 
livres to the partners in the business at Mingan to load the 
ship Le Rosaire with merchandise necessary for their busi- 

On May 9, 1705, Charles-Francois Bissot and Joseph Guion 
du Rouvray formed a partnership for eighteen months to ex- 
ploit at a common profit and a half of the loss or profit the 
fief and seigniory of Port a Choix in the island of Newfound- 
land, belonging to M. Hazeur, councillor in the Sovereign 
Council. The partners were to carry on at Port a Choix traffic, 
trading with the savages and commerce in fish. 

It was understood that Joseph Guion Rouvray was to 
spend the winter at Port a Choix with a man whom M. Bissot 
was to send him in his stead, while he returned with their 
ship to Quebec in the autumn of 1705 and to return in the 
spring of 1706. Since his haste and the lack of time did not 
allow M. Bissot to find the man in question, it was under- 
stood that Guion de Rouvray should spend the winter alone 
at Port a Choix with four hired men and a young boy. As 
compensation M. Guion de Rouvray was to be paid from the 
whole sum before it was divided an amount which should 
be decided by two of their friends. 

The same day Charles-Frangois Bissot and Joseph Guion 
de Rouvray acknowledged that they owed to Francois Bissot 


and to Frangois and Jean Jolliet the sum of 300 livres for 
the freightage of the merchandise, victuals and tools which 
they had loaded on the ship the Saint Rosaire belonging to 
them and sailing to Port a Choix. It was understood that 
the Saint Rosaire was to touch at Mingan on the way to 
Port a Choix. Charles Francois Bissot was, however, to 
take 60 pounds of these 300 livres to recompense himself for 
the pain and care which he would take in guiding the said 

This is the last known mention of Charles-Frangois Bissot. 
As we have just seen he ought to have returned from Port 
a Choix in the spring of 1706. Did he die during this voyage? 
We are led to believe that he did, since on March 30, 1708, 
his brother Frangois-Joseph Bissot and Joseph Guion de Rouv- 
ray formed a partnership to exploit a new settlement on the 
island of Newfoundland. His name does not figure in this 
partnership, in spite of the fact that since 1695 the two brothers 
had always been associated in all their enterprises. 

(Father of Frangois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes.) 

Born at Quebec, January 19, 1668, of the marriage of 
Frangois Bissot de la Riviere and Marie Couillard. He was 
baptized the 21st of the same month by M. Henry de Ber- 
nieres, cure de Quebec. His godfather was M. Jean Talon, 
intendant of New France, and his godmother Guillemette- 
Marie Hebert, widow of Guillaume Couillard. 

On November 3, 1672, the intendant Talon granted to 
Frangois Bissot de la Riviere for his sons Jean Baptiste Bissot 

de Vincennes (godson of M. Talon) and Bissot, 

seventy acres of land frontage, a mile of depth on the river 


St. Lawrence from the land belonging to the Sieur de la 
Citiere to the land not yet conceded in fief and seigniory. 
This is the fief or seigniory of Vincennes. This concession 
was made under the ordinary conditions; to bring faith and 
homage to the chateau St. Louis, at Quebec, to hold or cause 
to be held faith and place, to preserve the oak woods suitable 
for the construction of vessels, to give information concern- 
ing the mines and minerals and to leave open roads necessary 
for passage, etc., etc., M. Talon declared that he granted this 
seigniory to M. Bissot de la Riviere to give to his son Jean 
Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes and Bissot more op- 
portunity for establishing themselves.* 

On November 10, 1676, Jean-Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes 
entered the seminary at Quebec to pursue his education there. 
The archives of the seminary say in regard to him : "not being 
fit for the ecclesiastical state, he left November 18, 1680." 
The seminary of Quebec was obliged to sue the guardian of 
the young Bissot de Vincennes in order to be paid the price 
of his board and lodging. October 19, 1682, correcting a 
judgment of the Provost of Quebec, the Sovereign Council or- 
dered Louis Jolliet, guardian of Jean-Baptiste Bissot de Vin- 
cennes to pay to the seminary of Quebec two years and a 
half of board at the rate of 230 livres a year and eighteen 
months at the rate of 150 livres a year. 

On October 20, 1687, Jean-Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes 
showed to the Sovereign Council that, having reached the age 
of twenty years, and being on the point of going to France 
for a situation, it was necessary for him to have the govern- 
ment of his own property. He asked them to grant him his 
letters of the right of majority. The Sovereign Council or- 
dered immediately the relatives of the young Bissot, paternal 
Tieees et Documents Relatifs a La Tenure Seigneuriale, p. 297. 



as well as maternal, to meet before the lieutenant general of 
the provost court to decide if he was capable of controlling and 
administering his property.* 

What was this employment that Jean- Baptiste Bissot de 
Vincennes went to seek in France? The ambition of the sons 
of good family under the French regime was to serve as officers 
in the troops of the detachment of marines. In 1687 our old 
friend the intendant Talon held a place of confidence at court. 
We have no written proof of it, but is it not reasonable to 
presume that the young Bissot went to France to obtain the 
high influence of his godfather to enter the army? 

On October 25, 1694, Jean-Baptiste Bissot sold to Louis 
Marchand all the rights which he might have in the land and 
seigniory of Mingan, not only his share in his father's estate, 
the late Francois Bissot de la Riviere, of whom he was an 
eighth heir, but also that which he might have later after the 
death of his mother, plus the free half in the land and seigniory 
of Vincennes. This sale was made under the charge of rights 
and duties under which things sold could be charged for the 
future and the price of 2,500 livres which the purchaser Mar- 
chand promised to pay, 1,000 livres in one year, 1,000 in two 
years and 500 in three years.* 

On March 21, 1695, Jean-Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes, 
eighth part heir in the succession of the late Francois Bissot 
de la Riviere, his father, sold to Etienne Charest, his brother- 
in-law, all that belonged and reverted to him in the land, 

* Jugeinents Et Deliberations Du Conseil Souverain, vol. Ill, p. 189. 

*Acte de Chaiiibalon, October 25, 1694. There was evidently a 
subsequent transaction between Louis Marchand and Jean-Baptiste 
Bissot, since the latter remained in possession of the seigniory of 
Vincennes, and since 15 years later, July 10, 1709, he sold his rights 
in the seigniory of Mingan to Francois Bissonnet, wig maker of 


Lauzon. M. Bissot de Vincennes reserved for himself only 
buildings, mill and tannery of Point Levy and on the coast of 
the part which belonged to him in the seven islands and the 
land along the river of the Etchemins. This sale was made 
under the charge of the quit rent, the rents and the seignioral 
rights under which things sold could be charged toward the 
seignior of the place, and to acquit the seller of the standing- 
debts of the succession of his father that could be claimed 
from him. M. Charest paid him moreover a sum of 500 
livres .* The act of sale called M. Jean-Baptiste Bissot de 

*Acte de Genaple, 21 Mars, 1695. 
Vincennes "ensign in the detachment of the Marine in this 

In 1696 the military authorities of the colony gave to the 
minister their opinion about the officers who served in the 
troops of the detachment of the Marine. M. de Vincennes 
was sub-ensign and the postscript "Good Officer" was added 
to his name.f 

The governor of Frontenac had always been of the opinion 
that the best means of making the tribes of the west light 
against the Iroquois was to keep up garrisons at Michilima- 
kinac and at the posts which were dependent on it. He wrote 
to the minister if these garrisons are deserted, it will be im- 
possible to control these tribes. In September, 1696, the am- 
bassadors of the different tribes of the west met M. de Fron- 
tenac at Quebec. He spoke to the delegates of each one of 
these tribes through interpreters and dismissed them saying 
to them: "I do not at all wish that you should return to 
your home empty handed. Here are guns, powder and balls 
which I give you. Make good use of them. They are not for 
slaying beef and the roe buck, but they are to kill the Iroquois 

tL'abbe Daniel, Apercu Sur Qnelques Coutemporains, p. 44. 


who lack much more than you powder and lead. Remember 
that there is nothing but war which can make true men note- 
worthy, and war it is which brings it about that I recognize 
you by your name. Nothing pleases me so much as to see the 
face of a warrior. This is what I give you. You can go 
when you will." 4 4 li 9 

Then profiting by the favorable disposition of the tribe, a 
little later M. de Frontenac sent M. d'Ailleboust d'Argenteuill 
to Michilimakinac and M. de Vincennes to the Miamis. The 
latter was to command the latter post.* M. de Vincennes 
received thus his first command, but it is evident that he had 
already made several journeys among the -Miamis and that 
he had even lived for a time among them. 

On November 14, 1704, M. de Ramezay, governor of Mon- 
treal, wrote to minister Pontchartrain : "There is reason to 
presume that the Sr. de Vincennes, petty officer, who was 
sent this summer to the Miamis by way of the Detroit river 
with three canoes laden with merchandise and brandy under 
the pretext of going to patch up the quarrels of the savages, 
and of others there which had been settled by M . de la Mothe, 
spoke of the same disorders. Whereas Sr. Rabiston, who 
descended from Detroit with fifteen men met the said Sr. de 
Vincennes ten miles from Montreal, and who on his arrival 
informed M. de Vaudreuil that he carried more than four 
hundred jugs of brandy, of which he made a great boast. It 
would have been easy to remedy this if the Sr. de Vincennes 
had exceded his orders. He only had to send a canoe to look 
for him which could have reached him in a day since the Sr. 
de Vincennes was at the bottom of a cedar-covered hill, where 
it was necessary to make portages of everything that was in 

*De la Totlierie, Histoire De L'Amerique Septentrionale, Vol. Ill, 
p. 309. 


the canoes, which brought it about that he could not advance. 
But instead of going- to the source to prevent his wrong doing 
he contended himself by feigning to be very angry. Since 
this affair caused much comment he said publicly that he 
would have him punished on his return. You will notice, 
Monseigneur, if you please, that brandy sells at Michilimakinac 
for forty and fifty francs a jug; Vincennes would therefore 
thus have gained 20,000 livres or 10,000 ecus. He ran little 
risk of losing his rank of petty officer in a place where little 
was heard of the court. Since M. de Vaudreuil's adminis- 
tration may be extremely prejudicial to the colony it is none 
the less so for the government. One might almost say that 
there will be no more peace. The Jesuits have re found their 

On November 14, 1704, M. de Lamothe-Cadillac sent to 
Minister Pontchartrain a memoir on the establishment of De- 
troit. Lamothe-Cadillac used the method of question and an- 
swer. The minister was supposed to inquire and Lamothe- 
Cadillac replied. In spite of its interest this memoir is too 
long to be reproduced here in its entirety. We will content 
ourselves in taking out of it the passages which relate to M. 
de Vincennes. 

"Answer. It is easy to see, Monseigneur, that you wish 
to be instructed. I admire your patience which never tires 
concerning that which relates to the service of the king. If 
that which I have had the honor to relate to you merits 
any attention the things of which you are about to be in- 
formed deserve all your attention. This now is the very 
plan which has been made to destroy Detroit, however I would 
not dare go on if you did not order me to do it. 

"Question. You may do it and count on my protection 

♦Archives du Canada. Correspondence Generale, Vol. 22. 


provided only that you make no false accusation and do not 
alter the truth in any respect. 

"Answer. I never depart from that principle. I have 
never had any patron saint other than the truth itself, and 
I have such great confidence in her that I believe myself in- 
vincible as long as I fight under her standards. I am about 
then to expose to you the facts on which you can draw what- 
ever conclusions please you. The public has drawn its own.'" 

Then M. de Lamothe-Cadillac speaks of M. de Tonty, of 
M. d'Ailleboust de Manthet and of M. de la Decouvert. He 
then goes on to M. de Yincennes. 

"The fourth case is that the Sieur de Yincennes was sent 
to the Miamis with an order to go to Detroit, being sent 
to Sr. de Tonty. the said Sr. de Yincennes having three canoes 
laden with merchandise and more than four hundred jugs of 
brandy, under the pretext of going to terminate the war begun 
by the Miamis-Ouyatatanon against the nations settled at De- 
troit and against the Iroquois. Observation on the fourth 

This quarrel being settled both M. the Governor General 
and the intendant were informed that it was not natural to 
send ensigns to settle the differences between nations in a 
post where there was a commandant named by the court. That 
is why, there being a question about the sending of Sr. de 
Yincennes, he told me that M the Governor General had his 
share in the merchandise which he was carrying. I declared 
to him as I talked to him that he had replied to me that 
he would discharge him because he had not permitted him 
to take more than two canoes. 

The twelfth fact is that the Sr. de Yincennes was actually 
at Detroit with four hundred jugs of brandy where he had 
a cabaret, having been the precursor of M. de Louvigny. major 


of Quebec, brother-in-law of de Lino superintendent de Nolan, 
a dishonest clerk, a relative of Chatellereau, another clerk of 
Detroit and the Cr. de Louvigny who was himself convicted 
of having disobeyed the order of the king by an arrest of 
the council. The said Sr. de Vincennes has also been pre- 
cursor of Sr. Vincelot a sub-delegate of M. Tlntendent, who 
informed me that in spite of my order not only had brandy 
not been spared to corrupt the savages but they had not done 
what they had been desired to do. This pretended sub-dele- 
gate was a first cousin of Seignior Pinaud who is my partner 
and belonging to a race of which I have already spoken.* 

November 16, 1704, M. de Vaudreuil wrote to Minister 
Pontchartrain : "I know Mgr. that your intention and the 
welfare of the service of the king demands that neutrality 
with the Iroquois nations be maintained as much as is pos- 
sible. I dare moreover to assure you that I give to it every 
care, and that I moreover dare to hope to succeed in spite of 
all the efforts which the English are making to embroil them 
with us, having found the secret of persuading the upper 
nations, our allies, to begin war with them in order to oblige 
us to declare ourselves and to take part. Since this affair is 
of the utmost importance, we have believed, Sr. de Beauhar- 
nois and I, that we ought not to neglect anything which would 
arrest the consequences of it, and following this plan we have 
had the honor to inform you in our common letter that we 
sent Sr. Vaillant and Sr. de Tonquaire to the Sonnontouans, 
and that I sent Sr. Vincennes to the JVIiamis, to whom I gave 
my orders and speeches to make to them for me. Sr. de 
Vincennes was formerly commandant among the Miamis by 

'"Archives du Canada, Correspondance generate, vol 22; O'Cal- 
laghan, Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of 
Now York, vol. IX, p. 759. 


whom he was very much loved ; for this reason I chose him 
in preference to another to make this nation realize the wrong 
they had done in attacking the Iroquois, our allies and theirs, 
without any other object. We permitted, Sr. de Beauharnois 
and I, the Sr. de Vincennes to take with him certain goods 
and six men and two canoes to make more speed. 

Sr. de Lamothe coming from Detroit informed us that 
he had met Sr. de Vincennes with three canoes and two men 
in addition. This disobedience to the orders which I had 
given him made me decide immediately to punish him, and 
since he is a petty officer in the troops I resolved to discharge 
him, and even asked M. the intendant to obtain some infor- 
mation on the advice which had been given us. I still re- 
main Mgr., of this opinion, if the generous action which he 
has just done in Detroit and of which we told you in our 
letter does not oblige me to write to you in his favor and 
demand grace for him." 

Speech of the Marquis de Vaudreuil sent to the Miamis 
of the river St. Joseph through the agency of M. de Vin- 
cennes : 

"1. I arrive here, my brothers, to represent your father, 
to tell you that he is surprised that the Miamis, whom he re- 
garded as the most obedient of his children, have disobeyed 
his orders. Tell me then, are you drunk; have you lost your 

"Ought you not to remember what we said when we made 
a general peace with all the nations, that in the future you 
would hunt peaceably, and that you would take the Iroquois 
for your brothers, and that you would have but one fire, one 
dish, one belt, one knife, and that you would drink together 
the same soup every time that you met? You have however 
broken your word ; you have reddened the earth with the blood 


of the Iroquois. I come then to demand of you why you have 
broken your word, since he received you so well last winter in 
his hunting cabins. 

"2. I know, my brothers, that you received the first blow, 
but you knew well enough that it was not the Iroquois who 
had struck, but those brothers of the wolves, the English, 
and when the Iroquois had struck you you ought to have come 
to complain as you had all decided. You ought to have imi- 
tated the Iroquois who allowed themselves to be struck by 
you without defending themselves, and were content to carry 
their complaint to their father Onontio. 

"3. I come to bring back to you the mind which you have 
lost and to show you your own interests. In order to ap- 
pease your father, begin by sending me instantly all the Iro- 
quois prisoners which are with your nation, and above all 
those which were taken last winter. 

"4. Take also the necessary measures to satisfy your 
brother the Iroquois. He has a right to complain of you, 
and you know well enough the wrong which you have done. 
Do it in such a way that I may hear no more talk about it, 
because I cannot be prevented from executing the terms of 
the peace which you ought to remember. Reflect on this 

Nov. 17, 1704, MM. de Vaudreuil and de Beauharnois 
wrote to Minister Pontchartrain : 'The neutrality of the Iro- 
quois being, Mgr., the subject in this country, to which we 
ought to give the closest attention, in order to preserve tran- 
quility, we have believed that we ought to neglect nothing 
in order to content these nations and to hold them in our 
interest. Since the Tsonnontouans seemed to us the most de- 
voted to the French we judged it fitting to send to them Sr. 

'^Archives du Canada, Correspondance, generate, vol. 22. 


de Jonquaire and Father Vaillant. Sr. de Vaudreuil detached 
Sr. de Vincennes, officer, who had formerly been in command 
of the Miamis, and by whom he was still loved, to find out 
the reasons they had had for attacking the Tsonnontouans, our 
allies and theirs, and to make them give to the latter the satis- 
faction which was their due. * * * 

"Sr. Tonty, Mgr., who is in command at Detroit in the 
absence of Sr. de Lamothe, advised us four days ago that a 
Ottawa chief named Campanie who had taken out the party 
against the Iroquois at Missilimakinac and who had made the 
prisoners which he had taken from the Iroquois, and that 
attack on Fort Frontenac had passed his fort with six 
he had even had the effrontery to give the death-cry outside 
the fort with the apparent design of causing the savages who 
are of his nation to declare themselves for him. Sr. de 
Tonty realizing the slight which he was putting the French 
by this action, and knowing moreover our intentions judged 
it proper, Mgr., to send Sr. de Vincennes to this savage, the 
same man whom Sr. de Vaudreuil had detached to go to the 
Miamis in order to settle the war which had just been 
kindled between these two nations. He at the head of twenty 
Frenchmen brought back four of their prisoners, although 
almost thirty Ottawas from the fort had gone there to take 
the part of their people. Sr. de Tonty received the two others 
the next day and this affair was more advantageous to us 
because without counting our obligations to the Iroquois it 
made all the nations realize that we could not allow anyone 
to mistreat our allies in our presence. In addition to the 
fact that at the same time there were at Detroit some Miamis 
who had come to take back three of their prisoners, as the 
Sr. de Vaudreuil had commanded them, and to whom it was 
of consequence to make known that they were not the only 
ones whom we obliged to make satisfaction. 


"The action of the Sr. de Vincennes seems so line that 
in spite of the advice which had been given to Sr. de Vau- 
dreuil and de Beauharnois that he had disobeyed the orders 
written in his pass-port, and concerning whom Sr. de Vau- 
dreuil had begged Sr. de Beauharnois to get information be- 
fore forming himself the resolution to take from him on his 
return the rank of petty officer which had been bestowed upon 
him. They could not but see the need they had of him on 
account of the influence which he had over the minds of the 
savage Miamis, the services which he had rendered and the 
deed which he had just done. They must show you, Mgr., 
that they hope that you will approve their intention of pardon- 
ing him." 

October 19, 1705, Governor de Yaudreuil wrote to the 
minister: "I had the honor last year of bringing to your 
attention the fact that I regarded the continuation of peace with 
the Iroquois as the principal affair of this country, and since 
it is on this principle that I have always worked, it is also 
this which obliged me to send Sr. Jonquaire to the Tsonnon- 
touans, Sr. de Vincennes to the Miamis, and which obliged 
me last spring to send Sr. de Louvigny to Missilimakinac to 
bring back from there prisoners which these savages had taken 
from the Iroquois at Fort Frontenac in the autumn. * * * 

"The Iroquois chiefs arrived at Montreal about the be- 
ginning of August and staid there until the 14th, when, having 
no news, I resolved to send them away and to send them back 
their prisoners for this purpose. * * * 

"The Iroquois started to return to their country when Sr. 
de Vincennes arrived and told me that he had come down 
with one of the chiefs of Missilimakinac who was sending 
him ahead to find out if they could appear before me in order 
that they might confess their shortcomings, and detail the 


manner in which they pretended to give satisfaction to the Iro- 
quois. The speeches of the one and the others with my reply 
will give you information of all that passed at Montreal dur- 
ing their stay until they went away entirely content, after I 
had given them all a banquet to renew their ancient alliance. 
It gave me indeed a veritable satisfaction to have accomplished 
your orders." 

June 9, 1705, the minister blamed M. de Vaudreuil severely 
for having sent M. de Vincennes among the Miamis and M. 
de Louvigny to Missilimakinac, since both of them carried on 
commerce openly. M. de Louvigny, said the minister, had 
been punished, and M. de Vincennes ought to be likewise. Far 
from doing it they had kept in a dungeon for six months the 
man named Neveu, who had denounced him.* 

June 17, 1705, the king had a letter written to M. de Vau- 
dreuil : "His majesty has seen what he has written on the 
subject of the Sr. de Vincennes. His majesty desires that 
in consideration of the good action which he has done in 
rescuing the Iroquois from the hands of the Ottawas who 
had taken them prisoner, that they pardon the offense which 
he committed in carrying brandy in defiance of Sr. de Vau- 
dreuil on the voyage which he had made at his orders to the 

June 9, 1706, Minister de Pontchartrain wrote to M. de 
Vaudreuil : "The acknowledgment which you make of hav- 
ing permitted Srs. de Manthet, de la Decouverte and Vin- 
cennes to take with them some merchandise on the voyages 
which they gave made for you in the upper country is suffi- 
cient to have given reason to the belief that they have carried 
on commerce, above all, the said Sr. de la Decouverte, who is 

*Edouard Richard, Supplement du Rapport du Dr. Brymner sill- 
ies Archives Canadiennes, 1899, p. 375. 


an arrant traitor. Therefore, I beg of you to refrain as much 
as you can from sending him into this country, since the ser- 
vice demands absolutely that you choose for sending there 
people of whose fidelity you are sure." 

June 30, 1707, Minister Pontchartrain finding that without 
doubt M. de Vincennes had been sufficiently punished, wrote 
to M. de Vaudreuil to reestablish him in his duties : "I have 
seen that to which you call my attention in relation to the 
subject of the commerce which it is pretended that the Srs. 
de Louvigny and de Vincennes have carried on among the 
Miamis and the Missillimakinacs. I hope that what I have 
written to you about it will cause you to give more attention 
to the conduct of those whom you send to distant posts, and 
that his majesty will receive no more complaints about their 
trading. His majesty desires that you restablish Vincennes in 
his duties of petty ensign which you have taken away from 

July 10, 1709, Jean-Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes sold to 
Francois Bissonnet, merchant wig maker, living at Montreal, 
the part and contingent portions reverting to him in the en- 
tire extent of the concession belonging to his father and mother 
situated on the river St. Lawrence, from l'lle aux Oeufs to 
Blanc-Sablons, with all the islands of Mingan and others con- 
tained in all of the said extent. This sale was made under the 
charges and reversions which this portion of the concession 
could owe to the king at each change of ownership, and for 
the sum of 150 livres. 

In 1712 the Foxes formed a plot with the Five Nations 
and the English to drive the French from Detroit. The Mas- 
coutins and Kikapous were also of the party. M. de Du Buis- 
son commanded at Detroit replacing M. de La Forest, suc- 
cessor to M. Lamonthe-Cadillac, retained at Quebec. This 
^Archives du Canada, Serie B. 29, 1. 


officer was brave and experienced, but he had under his order 
only thirty French; and to crown the disaster, the Ottawas 
and the Hurons, their intimate friends at Detroit, had not 
yet returned from their hunting expedition. The situation was 
critical. On May 13, 1712, M. de Vincennes arrived at De- 
troit from among the Miamis. He was a powerful aid to 
M. Du Buisson. The two brave officers conquered the Foxes, 
but after much weariness and prodigies of valor on the part 
of the little garrison under their orders. In a letter dated De- 
troit, June 15, 1712, M. Du Buisson relates the whole event 
to M. de Vaudreuil. 

"As I have believed that it was of great consequence to 
inform you of the state of this post, by a canoe, as quickly as 
possible. I have requested M. de Vincennes to make this 
voyage, having assured him that this would be pleasing to 
you, persuaded, as I am Mgr., that you are very solicitous to 
know what goes on here. The fatigue I undergo day and 
night in consequence of the public and private councils that 
I hold with the Indians preventing me from sending you a 
detailed account of all the circumstances. M. de Vincennes has 
promised to forget nothing which has passed in order to com- 
municate it all to you. 

"The destruction of two Mascoutin and Outagamie villages 
is one of the principal reasons which induces me to send this 
canoe. God has permitted these two audacious nations to 
perish. They had received many presents and some belts 
from the English to destroy the post of Fort Pontchartrain, 
to cut our throats and those of some of our allies, ot whom 
the Hurons and Ottawas lived on the Detroit river. Then 
these wretches were to go back among the English and to de- 
vote themselves to them in order to continually to do harm. 
It is said that the band of Ouinetouan and that of Makate- 


mangouas have been received among the Iroquais and have 
established a village among them. This information has been 
brought by three canoes of Ottagamies who have been defeat- 
ed by the Chippeways, within four leagues of this post. I 
fear much for the safety of M. de Laforest, because being 
no doubt upon his march to this place, he may fall in with 
some of these bands of the hostile Ottagamies who have joined 
the Iroquois. The band of the great chief, Lamyma and that 
of the grand chief Pemoussa came early in the spring and 
encamped, in spite of my opposition, about fifty paces from 
my fort, never willing to listen to me, speaking always with 
much insolence and calling themselves the masters of all this 
country. It was necessary for me to be very mild having as 
you know, M., but thirty Frenchmen with me, and wishing 
to keep with me eight of the Miamis who were with M. de 
Vincennes, and also to sow our grain and pasture our cattle. 
Besides, the Ottawas and Hurons had not come in from their 
winter hunt. I was thus exposed every day to a million in- 
sults. The fowls, pigeons and other animals belonging to the 
French were killed without their daring to say a word, and for 
myself I was in no condition openly to declare my intentions. 
One of them entered my fort to stab one of the inhabitants 
named la Jeunesse and a grown daughter of Roy, another in- 
habitant. I could then no longer restrain myself, but took 
arms to prevent their accomplishing their wicked intention. 
I compelled them to retire immedately, in order not to give 
them time to increase their party, since they also were wait- 
ing for the Kickapoos, their allies, that they might together 
execute their nefarious project and be strong enough to retire, 
fearing nothing, to the English and Iroquois. These wretches 
waited but for a favorable moment to set fire to the fort and 
to over-power us. It was an entirely different matter when 


they learned that the Mascoutins who had wintered on the 
headwaters of the St. Joseph had been killed, to the number 
of 150 souls, mens, women and children, by Saguisma, a war 
chief of the Ottowas and Pottawatamies. They immediately 
determined to set fire to an Ottawa cabin which was near the 
gate of my fort. I was informed of their intention by an 
Ottagami Indian named Joseph, who long since left his people 
and devoted himself entirely to the French. It was from him 
I learned all that passed in the village of the Ottagamies and 
the Mascoutins. He had the honor to be presented to you. 
M., last year at Montreal. He informed me also that I was to 
be burned in my own fort, and I immediately sent a French 
canoe to the winter hunting ground of the Ottawas and the 
Hurons to request them to hasten and come to join me. I 
sent also another canoe to the other side of the lake to invite 
the Chippaways, the Mississagues and the Amiquois to join 
my party. 

The church and M. Mallet's house were outside the fort, 
and all the grain supply of our savages was stored there. The 
contrary winds which blew all the time prevented all the sav- 
ages who were our allies from arriving, which troubled me 
much, as I felt myself hard pressed. I encouraged the few 
Frenchmen who were with me immediately to bring the wheat 
into the fort. And it was well we did so, for two days later 
I would have had no supplies except for the moment, and 
it would have been necessary to skirmish in order to take 
possession of it, and much of it would even have been pillaged 
from us. The most important thing was to pull down as quick- 
ly as possible the church, the storehouse and some other houses 
which were near my fort, and so close that the enemy could 
have succeeded in setting fire to the fort whenever they wanted 
to. And besides it was important to clear the place in order 


to defend ourselves in case of an attack which very soon took 
place. We must return a thousand thanks to the Lord. We 
should have been lost if I had not formed this intention. I 
put on the best countenance I could, encouraging the French, 
who were in consternation, believing themselves surely lost. 
The fear I entertained, that some accident might happen to 
the French who had not yet arrived and the necessity of sow- 
ing our grain and pasturing our cattle, prevented me from 
refusing them permission to enter my fort to trade, for fear 
they should suspect that I knew their pernicious object. The 
only thing I could do was to tell them that I apprehended that 
the Miamis, who knew that I permitted them to remain so 
near, would make war upon me, and therefore I was about to 
repair my fort. They did not appear to give much credit to 
my assertions. 

It was necessary to fire our guns occasionally in order to 
get some logs which were outside the fort and of which they 
had taken possession. I set about, as quickly as possible, to 
repair the fort, with those which I succeeded in taking away 
from them. And I succeeded in strengthening it perfectly 
well with material from the houses. I employed a ruse to ob- 
tain possession of a pigeon-house which they wished to keep, 
which might have given us much trouble and caused us much 
loss of life. I placed it immediately opposite their fort and 
pierced it with loop holes. I mounted two swivels on two 
great logs of wood to serve as cannon in case of necessity. 

The 13th of May, While I was impatiently waiting the 
arrival of my allies, whom I had sent out to find, who were 
the only aid I could expect, M. de Vincennes, arrived from 
among the Miamis with seven or eight Frenchmen. He brought 
me no news of the savages whom I was awaiting, which gave 
me much trouble, as I now did not know on what Saint to call. 


But heaven watched over our preservation, and when I least 
expected it there entered a Huron all breathless who said 
to me: "My father, I ask to speak to you in secret. I am 
sent to you by our old men." There were then in their villages 
but seven or eight men, it seems that everything which hap- 
pened was miraculous, for all the others, arrived two hours 
afterwards and the Ottawas also. The messenger said "God 
has pity on you. He desires that your enemies and ours 
should perish. I bring you news that four men have just 
arrived at our fort, not daring to enter yours on account of 
the Ottagamies and Mascoutins who surround you. Makisabie, 
war chief of the Pottawatamies the brother of Tekamasinon 
and two others desire to speak to you. I begged M. de Vin- 
cennes to meet them and he recognized the four Indians. He 
came an hour later to reply to me and told me on the part 
of Makisabie that 600 men would soon arrive to aid me, and 
to eat those miserable nations who had troubled all the coun- 
try. That it was necessary to keep myself on guard against 
being surprised by the Ottagamies and Mascoutins who might 
learn of the arrival of this assistance. 

I begged M. de Vincennes to return to the Huron fort and 
to find out from Makisabie if he could not find means to satisfy 
himself with driving away the Mascoutins and the Ottagamies 
and compelling them to return to their former villages which 
was, Monsieur, your intention. But this could not be done, 
for the Hurons were too much enraged. This great affair 
had been too well concerted during the whole autumn and 
winter with all the nations, and presents had been given. M. 
de Vincennes perceiving that it would only irritate the Hurons 
to speak of a reconciliation, dropped the subject, the more 
readily as they said these wicked men had never kept their 
word. We could only then be silent and put the best face 


on the affair, while we. fought with them against our common 
enemy. The Hurons even reproached us with being tired of 
living, since we knew the bad intentions of the Ottagamies 
and the Mascoutins. They said it was absolutely necessary 
to destroy them and to extinguish their fire, and it was your 
intention they should perish. They knew your views on this 
subject at Montreal. 

M. de Vincennes returned and told me it was usless to 
talk of any reconcilation. And in truth I well knew that it 
was a cause for fear to have so many nations around us of 
whose good intentions we were not certain. I therefore closed 
the gates of the fort and divided my few Frenchman into 
four brigades, each having its brigadier. I inspected their 
arms and amunition, and assigned them their stations on the 
bastions. I put four of them into the redoubt I have just 
constructed. I placed some of them at the two curtains where 
there was the most to fear, armed with drawn swords. My 
two cannon were all ready with slugs of iron prepared to load 
them, which had been made ready by the blacksmith. Our 
reverend father, on his side, bestirred himself, holding him- 
self ready to give a general absolution in case of need, and to 
succor the wounded if perchance there should be any. He 
communicated also the Sacred Host. 

Every arrangement being made and while we were waiting 
with impatience I was informed that there were many people 
in sight. I immediately ascended a bastion and casting my 
eyes toward the woods I saw the army of the nations of the 
South coming from that direction. They were the Illinois, the 
Missouris, the Osages and other nations still more remote. 
There were also with them the Ottawa chief, Saguima, and 
also the Potawatamies, the Saks, and some Menomenies. De- 
troit never saw so many people. It is surprising how much 


all these nations are angered against the Mascoutins and the 
Ottagamies. This army marched in good order, with as many 
flags as there were different nations, and it proceeded directly 
to the fort of the Hurons, who said to the head chief of this 
army "You must not encamp. Affairs are too pressing. We 
must enter immediately into our father's fort and fight for him. 
Since he has always had pity on us and since he loves us, we 
ought to die for him. Do you not see that smoke also ? There 
are three women of your village, Saguima, who are burning 
there, and your wife is among them." Not another word was 
necessary. There arose a great cry and at the same time they 
all began to run headlong. The Hurons and the Ottawas 
of this place at their head. The Ottagamies and Mascoutins 
raised also their war cry and about forty of them rushed from 
their fort all naked and painted, brandishing their arms in 
every direction to meet our men and defying them in order to 
make them believe that they feared them not at all. They 
were obliged however to retreat immediately and to return to 
their village. Our Indians asked my permission to enter my 
fort, which I granted, seeing that they were much excited. It 
was my plan to have them encamp near the woods, that they 
might not be troublesome. All the Indian chiefs assembled on 
the parade ground of my fort and spoke to me as follows : 

"My father, I speak to you on the part of all the nations 
your children who are before you. What you did last year 
in drawing their flesh from the fire, which the Ottagamies 
were about to roast and eat, well merits that we should bring 
you our bodies, to make you master of them and to do all 
that you wish. We do not fear death, when it is necessary 
to die for you. We only beg that you pray the father of all 
nations to have pity on our women and children, in case we 
lose our life with you. We beg that you throw a blade of grass 


upon our bones to protect them from the flies. You see, my 
father, that we have left our villages, our women and our 
children to come as quickly as possible to join you. We hope 
that you will have pity on us, that you will give us something 
to eat and a little tobacco to smoke. We have come from a 
distance and are destitute of everything. We hope that you 
will give us powder and balls to fight with you. We don't 
make a great speech. We perceive that we fatigue you and 
the French by the ardor which you show for the fight." 

I immediately answered them briefly : "I thank you my 
children; the desire which you have to come and offer to die 
with me is very agreeable to me and causes me much pleasure, 
I recognize you as true children of the governor. I 
shall not fail to render him an account of all you have done 
for me today. You need not doubt that when any question 
respecting your interests arises he will busy himself about it 
with much ardor. I receive orders from him constantly to 
watch continually for the preservation of his children. With 
regard to your needs, I know that you want everything. The 
fire which has just taken place is unlucky for you as well as 
for we; I will, however, do all I can to provide you with 
what is most necessary. I invite you to live in peace, union 
and good will together as well among your different nations 
as with my Frenchmen. This will be the best means of en- 
abling us entirely to defeat our common enemies. Take cour- 
age then. Repair your tomahawks, your bows and your arrows 
and especially your guns. I shall presently distribute powder 
and balls among you, and then we will attack our enemies. 
This is all I have to say to you." 

All the Indians uttered a loud cry of joy and of thanks, 
saying: "Our enemies are dead from the present moment. 
The heavens begin to grow clear and the Master of Life has 
pity on us." 


All the old men made harangues throughout the entire 
fort to encourage the warriors, telling them to listen well to 
my words and to obey me in all the manoeuvres that I was 
about to have them perform. I distributed immediately pow- 
der and ball among them and then we all together raised the 
war cry. The very earth trembled. The enemy, who were 
not more than a pistol shot away, raised also their war cry. 
At the same time the guns were immediately discharged on 
both sides and the balls flew like hail. We had to do as our 
Indians did, in order to encourage them. The powder and 
balls which you had the goodness to send us last autumn did 
not last long. I was obliged to have recourse to the three 
barrels that M. de Lamothe left with a certain Roy to sell, 
leaving me not a single grain when he went away for the 
defense of the fort in case of an attack. All mine was ex- 
hausted, which had gone but a little way, as well as a quantity 
which I had been obliged to purchase from some of the French 

I held the Ottagamies and the Mascoutins in a state of siege 
during nineteen days, wearing them out by a continual fire 
night and day. In order to avoid our fire they were obliged to 
dig holes four or five feet deep in the ground and to shelter 
themselves there. I had erected two large scaffolds twenty 
feet high the better to fire into their villages. They could 
not go out for water. Hunger and thirst exhausted them. I 
had from four to five hundred men who blockaded their 
village, day and night, so that no one could go out to seek 
assistance. All of our Indians went to hide at the edge of the 
wood whence they continually returned with prisoners who 
were coming to join their people not knowing they were be- 
sieged. Their pastime was to shoot them or to fire arrows 
at them and burn them. 


The enemy which I had held besieged, thinking to intimi- 
date me and by this means to oblige me to leave the field open 
to them, covered their palisades with scarlet blankets and then 
shouted to me that they wished that the earth was all covered 
with blood. These red blankets were the mark of it. They 
hoisted twelve red blankets as standards in twelve different 
places of their village. I well knew that these signals were 
English, and they fought for them. This indeed they shout- 
ed to me, speaking from one fort to the other. They said 
they had no father but the English, and told all the nations, 
our allies, that they would do much better to quit our side 
and join theirs. 

The great war chief of the Pottawatamies after having 
asked my advice and permission, mounted one of my scaf- 
folds and spoke to our enemies in the name of all our nations 
in these words : "Wicked nations that you are ; you hope to 
frighten us by all that red color which you show in your 
village. Learn that if the earth is covered with blood, it 
will be with yours. You speak to us of the English. They 
are the cause of your destruction, because you have listened 
to their bad council. They are the enemies of prayer, and 
it is for that reason that the Master of Life chastises them 
as well as you, wicked men that you are. Don't you know- 
as well as we do that the Father of all the nations, who is 
at Montreal, sends continually parties of his children against 
the English to make war upon them, and that they take so 
many prisoners that they do not know where to put them? 
These English who are cowards only defend themselves secret- 
ly by killing men by that wicked drink brandy, which has 
caused so many men to die immediately after drinking it. 
Thus we shall see what will happen to you too for having 
listened to their words." 


I was obliged to stop this conversation perceiving that 
the enemy had asked my permission to speak only to divert 
us and to have a little time to go for water. Thirst dis- 
tressed them much. I ordered our great lire to recommence, 
which was so violent that we killed more than thirty men 
and some women who had secretly gone out for water. I 
lost, that day in my fort, twelve men, who were killed by 
our enemies. In spite of me, the enemy had taken posses- 
sion of a house, where they had erected a scaffold, behind 
the gable-end which was made of earth. Our rifle balls could 
not penetrate this defense and thus every day some of our 
people were killed. This obliged me to raise upon one of my 
scaffolds the two large logs upon which were mounted my 
swivels. I loaded them with slugs and caused them to be 
fired upon the gable-end which troubled me so much. The 
first two discharges carried so successfully that we heard 
the scaffold which they had built back of the gable fall in 
ruins and some of the enemy were killed there. They were 
so frightened by this shooting of the cannon that Ave heard 
them utter cries and frightful groans, and toward evening they 
called out to beg that I would allow them to come and speak- 
to me. Immediately I assembled the chiefs of the nations 
who were with me to find out their opinion, and we all agreed 
that we ought to let them come, in order by some statagem. 
to try and withdraw from their hands three women of our 
people whom they had made prisoners some days before the 
seige, one of whom was the wife of the great chief Saguima. 
I shouted to them through my interpreter that they might 
come in safety to speak to me, as I was perfectly willing to 
give them that satisfaction before they died. 

They did not fail the next morning to come. We were 
very much surprised not to see their red flags in the village. 


but only a white one. The great chief Pemoussa was the 
head of this first embassy. He came out of his village with 
two other savages, a white flag in his hand. I sent my in- 
terpreter to bring him to me and to protect him from insult 
from any young warrior. He entered my fort. I placed him 
in the middle of the parade-ground and then I assembled 
all the chiefs of the nations, who were with me, to hear all 
together. The ambassador spoke in these words, presenting 
a belt of wampum and two slaves: "My father I am dead. 
I see very well that heaven is clear and beautiful for you 
alone, and that for me it is all dark. When I left my 
village I hoped that you would listen to me. I beg of you, my 
father, by this belt which I lay at your feet, that you have 
pity on your children, and that you do not efuse them the 
two days, that they ask you, in which there shall be no firing 
on either side, that our old men may hold a council to find 
means of softening your spirit. It is to you that I now speak, 
you other children obeying the word of our father. This 
belt is to pray you to remember that you are our kindred. 
If you shed our blood, remember that it is also your own. 
I pray you to soften the heart of our father, whom we have 
so often angered. These two slaves are to replace, perhaps, 
a little blood which you may have lost. I speak to you only 
these few words until our old men take council together, if 
you grant us the two days that I ask of you." 

This, Monsieur, is what I replied to him : "If your hearts 
were a little moved and if you truly considered the governor 
as your father you would have begun by bringing to me the 
three women whom you hold as prisoners. Not having done 
this, I believe your hearts are still bad. If you wish that 
I listen to you, begin by bringing them to me. This is all 
I have to say." 


All the chiefs who were with me cried aloud : "My father, 
after what you have just said we have nothing to reply to 
this ambassador. Let him obey you if he wishes to live." 

The ambassador replied: "I am only a child; I shall re- 
turn to my village to render an account to our old men." 

Thus finishing the council, I gave him three or four 
Frenchmen to take him back, assuring him that we would not 
lire during the entire day, as their old men had requested, on 
condition that no one should leave the village to seek water, 
and if any one saw them do it the truce should be at an 
end and we would fire upon them immediately. 

Two hours after two Mascoutin chiefs and a third, an 
Ottagami, came, flag in hand, with the three women in ques- 
tion. I made them enter the same place that the first had 
entered, where were assembled all our savage chiefs. These 
three messengers spoke as follows : "My father, here are 
these three morsels of flesh you ask of us. We have not 
eaten them, thinking you would call us to account for it. 
Do what you please with them. You are the master. Now 
we, the Mascoutins and the Ottagamies, beg that you cause 
all the nations who are with you to retire in order that we 
be free to seek provisions for our women and children. Many 
die every day of hunger and of distress. All our village 
regrets that we have angered you. If you are as good a 
father as all your children, who are around you say you 
are, you will not refuse the favor we ask of you." 

Since I had the three women whom I asked, I did not 
care longer to parley with them; I therefore answered: "If 
you had eaten my flesh, which you have brought to me. you 
would not be living at this moment. You would have felt 
such terrible blows that they would have forced you into 
the earth so deep that no one would any longer speak of 


you. So true is it that I love the flesh of the father of all 
the nations. With regard to the liberty which you demand 
of me. I leave it to my children to answer you. Therefore 
I speak no more." 

The head chief of the Illinois, whose name is Makouandeby, 
was appointed by the chiefs of the other nations to speak in 
these words : "My father, we thank you for all your kind- 
ness to us. We thank you for it, and since you give us per- 
mission to speak, we shall do so." 

And then, addressing the hostile chiefs, he said : "Now 
listen to me, ye nations who have troubled all the earth. 
We well see, in all your words, that you seek only to sur- 
prise our father and to deceive him again, in asking that he 
would cause us to retire. We should no sooner do so than 
you would again torment our father. You would inevitably 
shed his blood. You are dogs who have always bitten him. 
You have never been sensible to the favors which you have 
received from all the French. You have believed, wretches 
that you are, that we did not know all the commands you 
have received from the English, to cut the throats of our 
father, and of his children here, and then to lead the English 
into this country. Go away then. For us we will not stir a 
step; we wish to die with our father; and if he should tell 
us to go away from you, we would disobey him, because 
knowing your wicked heart, we do not want to leave him 
alone with you. We shall see from this moment who are 
to be masters, you or we. You have only now to retire, and 
as soon as you shall reenter your fort we shall begin our 

I sent an escort to conduct the ambassadors to their fort, 
and we began to fire again as usual. We were three or four 
days without communication, firing constantly and briskly on 


both sides. The enemy discharged their arrows so rapidly 
that more than three or four hundred were flying in the air 
at the same time. At their ends were lighted bombs and 
others with fuses of powder with the object of setting us 
on fire as they had threatened to do. I found myself very 
much embarrassed. Their arrows fell in every direction on 
the houses, which were only covered with straw, so that the 
fire caught here and there, which so frightened the French 
that they thought they were lost. I reassured them, telling 
then that this was nothing, and that we must find a remedy 
a>s quickly as possible. "Come then," said I to them, "take 
courage, let us take the thatch from the houses and let us 
cover them with bear skins and deer skins; the Indians will 
help us." I then had them bring in two large wooden pirogues 
in which I poured twenty barrels of water and provided swabs 
at the end of rods to extinguish the fire, if it should catch 
anywhere, and hooks to pull out the arrows. I had four or 
five Frenchmen wounded. I fell into another embarrassment 
much greater than this first one. My Indians became dis- 
couraged, and wanted to go away, a part of them saying 
that we should never conquer this nation. That they knew 
them well, and that they were braver than any of the rest : 
that besides I could no longer furnish them with provisions 
sufficient for their subsistence. The inconstancy of these na- 
tions ought to teach us how dangerous it is to leave a post 
so distant as this without troops. I then saw myself on the 
point of being abandoned and left a prey to our enemies, who 
would not have given us any quarter and the English would 
have triumphed. The French were so frightened that they 
said to me that they saw clearly that it was necessary that 
we should retire as quickly as possible to Michilimakinac. I 
said to them: "What are you thinking of? Can you en- 


tertain such sentiments? Can you abandon the post in such 
a cowardly manner? Dismiss from your minds, my friends, 
so evil a design. Do things appear to you so bad that you 
should fear so greatly? You ought to know that if you had 
done such a thing as to abandon me that the Governor Gen- 
eral would pursue you everywhere to punish you for your 
cowardice. What the Indians have just said ought not to 
frighten you. I am going to speak to all the chiefs in private 
and inspire them with new courage. Therefore change your 
views and let me act. You will see that all will go well." 
They answered that they were only pretending to retreat 
without my consent and without me at their head, believing 
that they could not hold the place if the savages abandoned 
us. They begged me not to consider them faithless and as- 
sured me that they would keep on doing all that I wished of 
them. And truly I was afterwards very well content with 
them. They did their duty like brave people. 

I was four days and four nights without any rest and 
without eating or drinking, striving all the time to secure to my 
interests all the young war chiefs, in order to keep them firm 
with me and to encourage all the warriors not to leave us 
until we had entirely defeated our enemies. To attain my 
end, I stripped myself of all I had, making presents to one 
and another. You know, Monsieur, that with the Indians 
one must not be niggardly. I flatter myself that you will 
have the goodness to approve all these expenditures, which 
for me are immense, and for the King of no consequence; 
for otherwise I should be much to be pitied, being burdened 
with a large family which causes me much expense at Quebec. 

Having gained all the Indians in private, I held a general 
council to which I called all the nations and said to them: 
"What, my children, when you are just on the point of destroy- 


ing this wicked nation, do you think of fleeing shamefully 
after having so well begun? Could you lift up your heads 
again? You would ever after be overwhelmed with confu- 
sion. All the other nations would say : 'Are these the brave 
warriors who fled so ignominiously after having abandoned 
the French' ? Be not troubled ; take courage ; we will endeavor 
yet to find a few provisions. The Hurons and the Ottawa s. 
your brothers, offer you some. As for me, I will do all I 
can to comfort you and aid you. Don't you see that onlv a 
thread holds your enemies? Hunger and thirst overpower 
them. We shall quickly make ourselves masters of their 
bodies. Will it not be very pleasant after this great defeat, 
when you visit Montreal, to receive there the caresses and 
the friendship of the father of all the Nations, who will thank 
you for having risked your lives with me? For you cannot 
doubt that in the report I shall make to him concerning all 
of this I shall render justice to each of you in particular, 
for all you have done for me. You must know also that to 
defeat this nation is to give that life and peace to your women 
and children which they have not yet enjoyed." 

The young war chiefs whom I had gained did not give 
me time to finish, but said to me : "My father, allow us to 
interrupt you ; we believe there is some liar who has told you 
falsehoods. We assure you that we all love you too much to 
abandon you, and that we are not such cowards as is re- 
ported. W T e are resolved, even if we are much more pressed 
with hunger, not to quit you till your enemies and our? are 
defeated." All the old men approved of these sentiments 
and said : "Rush to your arms and prove that those are liars 
who have reported evil of us to our fathers." Then they raised 
a great cry and sang the war song and danced the war dance, 
and a large party went out to fight. 


Every day some Sacs who had formerly lived in the same 
village with the Ottagamies left their fort and came to join 
their people who were with me, who received them with much 
pleasure. They made known to us the condition of the village 
of our enemy, assuring us that they were reduced to the last 
extremity. That from sixty to eighty women and children 
had died from hunger and thirst, and that their bodies and the 
bodies of those who were killed every day had caused an infec- 
tion in their camp since they did not dare make any attempt 
to bury them, on account of the heavy fire that we continually 
kept up. 

Under these circumstances the enemy demanded permis- 
sion to speak to us which we granted them. Their messengers 
were their two great chiefs, one of the village, the other of 
war, the first named Allamyma and the other Pamousa. With 
them came also two great Mascoutin chiefs, one named Kissis, 
and the other Ouabimanitou. The great chief Pamousa was at 
the head of the three others, having a crown of wampum on 
his head, many belts of wampum on his body and hanging over 
his shoulder. He was painted with green earth and accom- 
panied by seven female slaves who were also painted and orna- 
mented with wampum. The three other chiefs had each a 
chichicoy in their hand. All of them marched in order, singing 
and shouting with all their might, to the sound of their chichi- 
coys, calling all the devils to their assistance and to have pity 
on them. They even had little figures of devils hanging from 
their girdles. They entered my fort in this manner among all 
the nations, our allies, and spoke as follows : "My father, I 
speak to you and to all the nations who are before you. I beg 
life from you. It is no longer ours. You have made your- 
selves masters of it. All the spirits have abandoned us. I 
bring you my flesh in the seven slaves whom I place at your 
feet. But do not believe I am afraid to die. It is the lives 


of our women and children that I ask of you. I beg you to 
allow the sun to shine, let the sky be clear, that we may see 
the day and that hereafter our affairs may be prosperous. 
Here are six belts that we give you, which bind us to you as 
true slaves. We pray you to untie them as a sign that you 
give us life. Remember, all of you, that you are our great- 
nephews. Tell us something, I pray you, which can give pleas- 
ure on our return to our village." 

I left it to our Indians to reply to these ambassadors. They 
had become in so short a time so enraged against them that 
they would not give them any answer. Eight or ten chiefs 
asked only to speak to me in private. "My father, we come to 
ask permission of you to break the heads of these four great 
chiefs. They are the men who prevent our enemies from sur- 
rendering at discretion. When these shall be no longer at 
their head they will find themselves much embarrassed and will 

I told them that they ought to be very sure of themselves 
to make me such a proposition. "Remember that they came 
here upon my word and you have given me yours. We must 
act with good faith and if I accepted this proposition how in 
the future could you trust one another? M. the Governor 
General would never pardon me. Dismi.-s this from your 
mind. They must return peaceably. You see clearly that they 
cannot escape us since you are resolved not to give them 

They confessed that I was right and that they were foolish. 
The ambassadors were dismissed in all safety, without, how- 
ever, giving them any answer on that which they had come to 
ask of us. These poor wretches well knew there was no 
longer any hope for them. 

I confess, Monsieur, that I was touched with compassion 
at their misfortune : but as war and pit}- do not well agree 


together and particularly as I understood that they were paid 
by the English to destroy us, I abandoned them to their un- 
fortunate fate. Indeed I hastened to have this tragedy 
finished in order that the example might strike terror to the 
English and their allies. The great fire recommenced more 
and more violently. The enemy, being in despair, since they 
were continually fired upon in their village and out of it, when 
they wished to go for water or to gather a few herbs to appease 
their hunger, had no other resource but an obscure night with 
rain to make their escape. They awaited it with much impati- 
ence and it came on the nineteenth day of the siege. They did 
not fail to make use of it, decamping about midnight and we 
were not aware of it until daybreak. I encouraged our people 
and they pursued them very vigorously. M. de Vincennes 
joined in the pursuit with some Frenchmen and this gave much 
pleasure to our Indians. 

The enemy, not doubting that they would be pursued, 
stopped at a little peninsula which is opposite Hog Island near 
Lake St. Clair, four leagues from the fort, protecting them- 
selves by tree branches cut across and logs cut lengthwise. 
Our people not perceiving this at all, pushed on into their 
retrenchment and lost there more than twenty men killed and 
wounded. It was necessary to begin a second siege and to 
encamp. The camp was regularly laid out. Every day a hun- 
dred canoes brought provisions. There were Ottawas, Hurons, 
Chippaways and Mississagues. The chief sent to me for my 
two cannon, all the axes and mattocks that I had to cut down 
the woods, that they might get through them, in order to 
approach the retrenchment of the enemy, and above all to fur- 
nish powder and balls. As for the Indian corn, tobacco and 
seasoning, they were supplied as usual without counting all 
the kettles of the French which were lost and for which I 
had to pay. 


The enemy held their position for four days, fighting with 
much courage and finally, not being able to do anything more, 
surrendered at discretion to our people who gave them no 
quarter. All were killed except the women and children, 
v/hose lives were spared. One hundred and fifty men, who 
had been bound, escaped. All our allies returned to my fort 
with their slaves. Their pastime was to shoot four or five men 
every day. The Hurons did not give quarter to a single one of 
them. In this way, Monsieur, came to an end these two wicked 
nations of such evil intent that they troubled all the country. 
Our reverend father chanted a grand mass to render thanks to 
God for having preserved us from this enemy. 

The Ottagamies and Mascoutins had built a very good fort, 
which, as I said before, was within pistol-shot of mine. Our 
people did not dare to undertake to storm it notwithstanding 
all I could say. There were three hundred men to defend it, 
and our loss would have been great. But the siege would not 
have been very long. Our Indians had lost sixty men, killed 
and wounded, thirty of whom had been killed in the fort and 
a Frenchman named Germain. Five or six others were 
wounded with arrows. The enemy lost a thousand souls, men, 
women and children. 

I do not wish to forget to state to you that there were 
about twenty five Iroquois who had joined the Hurons of 
Fond-du-lac in this war. These two nations together distin- 
guished themselves above all the others, therefore their loss 
has been greater. They have received many caresses from all 
the Indians and more particularly, since they have made satis- 
faction for an old quarrel by presents of slaves and pipes. It 
was I who brought them to this reconciliation. I dare venture 
to assure, you, Monsieur, that this general assembly of all the 
nations has put them at peace with one another and has re- 
newed their ancient alliance. They all count on receiving 


great presents which they say, Monsieur, you have promised 

I have determined, with the consent of his nation to send 
to you, the grand chief of the Illinois from Rock Village. His 
name is Chachagouache. He is a good man and has much 
authority and I trust that you will induce him to make peace 
with the Miamis. This affair is of very great consequence. 
The Miamis having sent me word, that if it is not brought 
about, they will abandon their village and build another on the 
river Ohio at the end of Lake Erie. This is precisely where 
the English are about to build a fort, according to the belts 
they have sent to the nations. They also said they would be 
contented if you would send them, Monsieur, a garrison and a 
reverend Jesuit father and some presents that, they say, you 
promised them. Maquisabe, the Pottawatomi chief, has much 
influence over the mind of this Illinois chief. He goes with 
him. Joseph, who accompanies them, deserves your kindness. 
I have had much trouble to save his life. 

I venture, Monsieur, to beg you to take care that the 
Indians who come with M. Vincennes return contented. Their 
visit secures this post. Saguina has written to me that M. 
Desliettes would not wait for him last spring, believing that it 
was through neglect poor Otchipouac died this winter. It is a 
loss for he had much firmness and was well disposed toward 
the French. 

We have another difficult affair which threatens to be diffi- 
cult. The Kickapoos, who live at the mouth of the Maumee, 
are about to make war upon us, now that our allies have left 
us; about thirty Mascoutins have joined them. A canoe of 
Kickapoos, who came from Detroit to speak to the three vil- 
lages, has been destroyed by the Hurons and Ottawa s. Among 
them was a great chief whose head was brought to me with 
the heads of three others. This blow was struck, out of resent- 
ment, because, last winter, they had taken prisoners from 


among the Hurons and the Iroquois. Besides they considered 
hirn a true Ottagami. I believe that if M. de Vincennes had 
not been at the mouth of the Miami at the time the Kickapoos 
would have killed the two Hurons and the Iroquois. There 
was every probability of it. These same people took prisoner 
also, Langlois, who was on his return from the Miami coun- 
try, and who carried many letters from the reverend Jesuit 
fathers at the Illinois villages. All these letters have been 
destroyed, which circumstance gives me much uneasiness as 
I am sure there were some for you from Louisiana. They 
dismissed this Langlois after robbing him of his peltry, telling 
him to return and tell them the news, but he had no more 
desire to do that, than I had to permit him. However, the 
Ottawas might safely send there. The Kickapoos have among 
them one of their women with her children. I will endeavor 
to prevail upon the Ottawas to join with the Hurons in order 
to make a reconciliation with this nation that we may have 
peace here. 

Ail the nations have gone away peaceably with all their 
slaves. Saguina has left his village and gone to Michilimak- 
inac. The Hurons also abandoned theirs and will either come 
here or go to the Illinois. More than half of the Ottawas of 
this place are going also to Michiiimakinac. The Chipaways 
and the Mississaguas will go to Topicanich. They have not at 
all been disposed to give any satisfaction to the Miamis for 
the murder of last year with M. de Tonty. The Miamis insist 
upon knowing the reason why. I spare no trouble to induce 
them to be patient and to persuade them that I labor constantly 
for their interests. 

. I have the honor to inform you, Monsieur, that last autumn 
I accomplished a measure that M. de Lamothe could never 
effect during all the time that he was here, which was to 
compel the Ottawas to make a solid peace with the Miamis, 
and to compel them to visit the latter, which they have never 


been willing to do. I succeeded very happily, the Miamis hav- 
ing received them as kindly as possible and they have made a 
strong alliance. 

I flatter myself, Monsieur, that it will be agreeable to yon 
to be assured that M. de Vincennes has faithfully performed 
his duty and that he has labored carefully here, as well as on 
his journey to the Miamis and Ouyatonons last winter. 

If I am so happy, Monsieur, as to receive your approba- 
tion of my conduct, I shall be fully compensated for my trouble 
and shall experience no more dejection. My success has been 
owing to the great influence I have over the nations. M. de 
Vincennes is witness. I do not say this in order to gratify my 
vanity or to claim any credit for truly I am very tired of 

You can easily judge, Monsieur, in what a condition my 
affairs must be in consequence of having no presents belonging 
to the King in my hands. However, I dare to trust to your 
goodness and to hope that you will not suffer a poor devil to 
be reduced to beggary. 

I have the honor to be with very profound respect, Mon- 
sieur, your very humble and very obedient servant, 

Au Fort du Detroit, Pont char train, June 15, 1712. 

In his memoirs sur le Canada, Gedeon de Catalogue de- 
scribes thus the destruction of the Foxes at Detroit in 1712. 
It is at all times well to notice that M. de Catalogne was then 
at Quebec. He tells his story by hearsay. He was not an 
eye-witness. That explains the variations of his version from 
that of M. Buisson. 

"It is well to know that when M. de Lamothe was at 
Detroit, wishing to attract the commerce of all the nations to 
his fort, he sent belts to the Mascoutins and the Kickapoos to 
invite them to set up their village at Detroit where a place was 


offered them. They accepted his offer and having come to 
the number of about forty families, they made a fort in the 
place which was assigned to them. 

"As this nation is feared and hated by the other nations, 
by reason of its arrogance, a conspiracy began to be stirred up 
against those who had settled at Detroit. And in 1712 S. de 
Buisson being in command at Detroit, the conspiring Hurons 
and the Outaouacs to the number of about 900 men repaired 
to the French fort, to whom this commander opened the door 
where they entered suddenly and ascending the bastions which 
looked out over the fort of the Foxes on whom they fired 
several rounds of musketry. 

"One of the chiefs of the Foxes raised his voice and spoke 
to the French in these words: 'What does this mean? You 
have invited us to come and live near you and while your 
word is still fresh in our ears you declare war upon us. What 
reason have we given you for it? Apparently, my father, you 
no longer remember that there are no nations, among those 
who call themselves your children, who have not imbrued their 
hands in the blood of the French. I am the only one to whom 
you cannot make reproaches and yet you join our enemies to 
eat us up. But remember that the Fox is immortal and if in 
defending myself I spill the blood of the French, my father 
must not reproach me. And remember several other facts.' 

"His audience finished, which was often interrupted by 
the musketry, The Fox responded in kind very well and worked 
night and day to dig caves in their fort in which to place their 
families under shelter from the fire of the armies. On the 
fourteenth day the Fox, beginning to lack everything to sus- 
tain life, raised his voice again in these words : 'My father, I 
no longer address myself to you. I speak to those women 
who are hidden in your fort that if they are as brave as they 
are said to be, that they will select eighty of the best warriors 
to whom I promise and you shall be witness of it, my father. 


that I will oppose against them only twenty, and if the eight) 
conquer I consent to be their slave and if on the contrary the 
twenty conquer the eighty warriors, they shall be our slaves.' 
No reply was made to all his propositions except by musketry, 
but no one was killed. 

"The eighteenth day having come, and the Foxes being 
entirely exhausted, since for six days they had eaten nothing, 
they went out of their fort at night with their families without 
being discovered. At daybreak the French were accustomed 
to fire several discharges of musketry from their fort on that 
of the Foxes, who replied on their side. But on this day, there- 
was no more firing from their fort, which caused the French 
so much curiosity that they went to the fort of the Foxes, 
where they found no one. At the time the chiefs asked M. de 
Buisson that S. de Vincennes, with a number of Frenchmen, 
should march at their head in pursuit of the Foxes. 

"Since the Foxes were starving they stopped on a peninsula 
to pasture their cattle. It was possible to get to them only by 
a defile, which they had taken care to guard. When the be- 
siegers arrived there, closing the Foxes' way of escape, firing 
began on both sides. 

"The Fox seeing himself cut off from escape, lifted his 
voice again to speak to M. de Vincennes, who had already 
shouted to them to surrender: 'We wish to surrender to you. 
Reply to me immediately. Tell me, my father, if there is any 
quarter for our families. Reply to me.' 

"The S. de Vincennes shouted to him that he would grant 
them their lives. Immediately the Fox put down his arms 
and when he went to meet the allies in an instant they were 
surrounded and all the Foxes cut in pieces before they could 
reach their arms. The women and children were taken as 
slaves and the greater part of them sold to the French. 

"Thus perished the Foxes whom M. de Lamothe had in- 
vited to Detroit. As soon as the Mascoutins and Kickapoos of 


the great villages learned of this action they -sent several parties 
into the field, some to le Baye, others to Detroit and to all ave- 
nues of approach, making all the other nations flee who did not 
dare resist their approach, until M. de Louvigny besieged them 
in their fort where they were well retrenched. Nevertheless, 
on account of bombs, they were forced to surrender. Their 
life was granted to them by M. de Louvigny in spite of the 
opinion and advice of the other nations who wished to exter- 
minate them." 

M. de Vincennes, as we have just seen, had been sent to 
Quebec by M. de Buisson to inform M. de Vaudreuil of the 
success of the French arms against the Foxes. By a letter 
from M. de Vaudreuil to the minister dated Quebec, Nov. 6, 
1712, we see that M. de Vincennes returned the same autumn 
of 1712 among the Miamis of the St. Joseph river.* 

In 1715 a party of the Miamis of the St. Joseph river were 
about to settle on the Maumee river near the actual site of Fort 
Wayne, Indiana. M. de Vincennes, who commanded them, 
followed them. From there he wrote to MM. de Ramezay and 
Begon that the English of Carolina were having recourse to 
every sort of expedient to persuade the Miamis to join them.f 

From a resume of a letter of Governor de Vaudreuil sub- 
mitted to the council of the Marine, June 28, 1716, we see that 
the allied nations of the upper country lived then in harmony 
and were well disposed toward the Foxes, their enemy. 

M. de Vaudreuil said : "S. de Ramezay has been informed 
by Sr. de Vincennes, officer detached to the Miamis and the 
Ouiatanons that the Iroquais have sent belts to this nation 
under the earth, which means secret signs by which they invite 
them to seek the necessities of life at a post established on the 
Oyo river. (This post is a new settlement of the English from 

*T. Saint-Pierre, Histoire des Canadiens du Michigan, p. 109. 

tO'Callaghan, Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the 
Jitate of New York, vol. IX, p. 931. 


Carolina.) That .they will find there merchandise, a half 
cheaper than among the French who trrannize over them." 

Sr. Vincennes replied that all the Miamis, fathers and sons, 
were children of Onontio (the French governor) and that they 
would never cease to obey him. The same Ouiatamons sent to 
Sr. de Ramezay a young slave to repeat, to him, for them the 
request which they had made last year for an officer to assist 
in their council, for a missionary to instruct, and for a black- 
smith to repair their arms. The Marquis de Vaudreuil ought 
to grant their request, following the intention of the council. 
He ought to take particular care to garrison all the posts. It 
is of the last consequence, above all to establish firmly those 
of the south where the English of Pennsylvania, Carolina and 
Virginia are very anxious to enter. That would ruin not only 
the commerce of Canada but also that of Louisiana by means 
of the communication of the rivers which flow into the great 
river Mississippi." 

June 26, 1717, the king ordered a letter written to MM. de 
Vaudreuil and Begon that he was well pleased to learn that 
M. de Vincennes had prevented the Miamis and the Ouiata- 
mons from accepting the belts of the English. Flis majesty 
hoped that the sending of scarlet cloth would turn the savages 
away from commerce with the English. 

We see from a letter from M. de Vaudreuil to the minis- 
ter, Oct. 30, 1718, that M. de Vincennes was then at his post 
among the Miamis.* 

Oct. 28, 1719, M. de Vaudreuil announced to the Council of 
Marine the death of M. de Vincennes. "It seems to me that 
it is very necessary that M. de Buisson continue to serve in this 
country, since he is more capable than any other officer of the 
government. The Ouiatanons and the Miamis know him and 
esteem him. He has a great reputation among them since the 
defeat of the Foxes at Detroit where he was in command dur- 

* Archives du Canada. Correspondence generate, vol. 39. 


ing the absence of Sr. Laforest and where the Miamis and the 
Ouitatanons came to trade, their village being not far distant 
from that post. These two nations have not yet made any 
move to go, the one to the St. Joseph river and the other to 
the Teatiky. They promised me, by speeches which I received 
from them last summer, that they would not fail to go to those 
places this autumn, but they have changed their mind, since 
that time, because I learned by the last letters which have come 
to me from the Miamis that the Sr. de Vincennes, being dead 
in their village, the Indians have decided not to go to the river 
St. Joseph, but to stay where they are." J 

The Miamis preserved for a long time the memory of M. 
de Vincennes. Thirty years after his death, as we shall see by 
the following little incident, the French used his name to work 
upon the minds of these savages. After his arrival in New 
France, in 1747, M. de la Galisonniere realized the importance 
for France to have a road of communication between her two 
colonies of New France and of Louisiana. With this object 
in view, he decided to send an expedition to take formal pos- 
session of the Ohio valley, which English traders were begin- 
ning to frequent. He needed to accomplish this task, a capable 
officer of tact and influence among the savages. Pierre- Joseph 
Celoron de Blainville, captain of a company af troops of a 
detachment of the Marine, had all these qualities. He was sent 
into this distant region. The instructions which M. de la Gali- 
sonniere sent him, were, to journey over this immense country, 
to go among the different nations who inhabited it, to persuade 
them to follow him, to be witnesses of what he did and above 
all to allow no English to come to trade among them. 

The expedition left Lachine, June 15, 1749. M. de Celoron 
had under his orders, a captain, M. Pecaudy de Contrecoeur, 

tArchives du Canada, Correspondence generate, vol. 40; O'Cal 
laghan, Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of 
New York, vol. LX, p. 894. 


eight subaltern officers, six cadets, twenty troopers, one hun- 
dred and eighty Canadians and about thirty savages, Iroquois 
and Abenakis. 

Sept. 13, 1749, almost three months after its departure 
from Lachine, the expedition arrived at the village of la 
Demoiselle near la Roche river, inhabited by the Miamis. M. 
de Celeron waited five days in this village for a Miami inter- 
preter, whom he had requested from M. de Raymond, com- 
mandant of the post of Kiskakon. The interpreter not arriving, 
M. de Celoron decided to speak to the Miamis through an 
Iroquois, who spoke their language well. M. de Celoron got 
along very easily with the Miamis who were clever fellows. In 
the name of the governor of New France, he offered them eight 
strings of wampum. These presents were given to them to 
leave the villages of la Demoiselle on the La Roche river and 
Baril on the White river. 

The interpreter accompanied the presentation with the fol- 
lowing discourse: "My children, the fact that I am treating 
with you in spite of what you have done to the French, to sup- 
port your women and children ought to prove to you the attach- 
ment which I have for you and the integrity of my sentiments. 
I forget what you have done and bury it deep in the earth, 
that I may never remember it again, persuaded that you have 
done nothing except at the instigation of a nation whose policy 
it is to trouble the earth and to ruin the mind of those who 
communicate with them, and who rise, profiting by the mis- 
fortune of others. These people you have allowed to get con- 
trol of you. They have caused you to do wrong and have 
persuaded you to evil deeds, without appearing themselves to 
take in them any part, in order to separate you from me. I 
am sending you my word to clear your minds. Listen to it 
well and give your attention to it, my children. It is the word 
of a father who loves you and to whom your interests are 


dear. I extinguish by these two strings of wampum the two 
fires which you lighted two years ago on the Rocky river and 
the White river. I extinguish them in such a way that no 
spark will ever rise from them again." 

Always in the name of the governor of New France M. de 
Celoron offered them a belt to the Miamis of the villages of 
la Demoiselle and Baril. This new present, richer and more 
important, was to ask the Miamis to return to their ancient 
village where M. de Bissot de Vincennes died thirty years be- 
fore. Let us listen to the interpreter speaking in the name of 
M. de Galissonniere : "My children, I desire to tell you by 
these strings of wampum that I have extinguished the fires that 
you have lighted on the Rocky river and on the White river. 
By these belts I lift for you your rush mats and I take you by 
the hand to lead you to Kiskakon, where I will relight your 
fire and settle you more firmly than ever. In this land,. my 
children, you will enjoy perfect tranquillity, where I am ready 
every instant to give you signs of my friendship. In this land, 
my children, you will enjoy the sweetness of life, being the 
place where repose the bones of your ancestors and those of 
M. de Vincennes, whom you have loved so much and who 
always governed you, so that your affairs were prosperous. If 
you have forgotten the councils which they gave you, these 
ashes will recall them to your memory. The bones of your 
ancestors suffer from your absence. Have pity of these words 
which call you back to your village. Follow with your women 
and your children. The chief whom I send you brings you my 
word and will light anew your fire at Kiskakon so that it will 
never be extinguished. I will give you all the aid you have 
reason to expect from my friendship, and think, my children, 
that I am doing for you that which I have never done for any 
other nation. " 


(Uncle of Frangois Marie Bissot de Vincennes.) 

Born at Quebec, May 19, 1673, of the marriage Frangois 
Bissot de la Riviere and of Marie Couillard. 

Nov. 9, 1695, Frangois-Joseph Bissot, Charles-Frangois 
Bissot, Louis Jolliet and Charles Jolliet formed a five years' 
partnership to go to Mingan to make a deal in the land of 
Frangois Bissot de la Riviere from Egg Island to the Bay of 
the Spaniards. The partnership did not last long since the 
following year the Bissot heirs, thinking that they could not 
enjoy nor make profitable the shares which they possessed in 
the seigniory of Mingan, rented and farmed out the seigniory 
of Mingan to Louis Jolliet for five years. 

After the death of Louis Jolliet in 1700 his sons formed a 
partnership with Charles-Frangois Bissot and Frangois-Joseph 
Bissot to carry on the enterprise at Mingan. On March 30, 
1708, Frangois Bissot, Jean-Baptiste Demeules and Joseph 
Guion de Rouvray formed a partnership for five years to make 
a settlement in a place called the Three Islands on the north 
coast of Newfoundland where they were to hunt, to fish and 
to trade. The hired men who were to make the voyage with 
the partners were named Labarre, Argencourt, Rousseau, Bon- 
homme, Paul Martel and Rasset. 

Oct. 24, 1731, MM. Beauharnois and Hocquart wrote to the 
minister: "Srs. Bissot and Cheron, merchants and navigators, 
of the city of Quebec, have requested of us that it be per- 
mitted to them to search for the anchors lost in this roadstead, 
on the condition that those which they recover shall belong to 
them, without their being compelled to pay the rights which 
belong to Mgr. the Count of Toulouse, on account of the ex- 
pense they will be under in recovering these old sea marks. 
For their success is uncertain on account of the difficulty and 


the risks which they may find. Nothing could be more ad- 
vantageous to commerce than this enterprise. Wherefore I 
beg you, Mgr., to authorize them to do it and to make his 
highness agree to give up the third part which belongs to him 
in everything that is brought up from the bottom of the sea 
according to Article X of the first title of the first book of the 
ordinance of 1681. The accidents which happened daily to 
vessels by striking these lost anchors, which chafe and cut 
their ropes and send them into the coast are the motives which 
cause us to request of you orders on the proposition which 
these men have made us." 

In 1733, Frangois- Joseph Bissot wrote to Minister de 
Maurepas to obtain from his majesty his continuance in the 
possession of the seigniory of Mingan granted to his late 
father, Francois Bissot de la Riviere by the Company of the 
Indies in February, 1661. M. Bissot explained to the minister 
that since the retrocession of the colony by the company of 
the Indies to his majesty, there had been established a domain 
which at first was bordered by the concession of his father but 
which later took in a third of his seigniory. M. Bissot said 
further that the original title granted to his father in 1661 had 
been destroyed in a fire of the lower city of Quebec. 

The suppliant, added he, has recourse to Your Highness to 
beg that you obtain from his Majesty that he be preserved in 
the possession which he has, to keep his concession from the 
limit of the domain which is at present from Cormorant Point 
going down the river to the land granted, and the exclusive 
privilege of maintaining there along his settlements and of 
making new ones if it is possible. To kill seals, with the rights 
of hunting and of trading with the Indians, which his late 
father possessed and whch he has enjoyed more than sixty 
years. He dares, moreover, Mgr., to be sure of the justice 
of your highness on this occasion, since the favor, which he 
takes the liberty to ask, is the fruit of his labor and of the ex- 


penditures which he has made in places which seemed inacces- 
sible and where he has placed the little property which his 
father left him. Having nothing else by which to support his 
family it would be very sad for him, Mgr., to see disorder rule- 
in this place for several years among the savages, whom he has 
always kept in sentiments of Christianity and who are only 
under the authority of the French who come there by favor of 
the permission they obtained to go fish for cod on the coast of 
Labrador, and who by the commerce in brandy destroy entire 
families and ruin at the same time the suppliant by the loss of 
sums of money on the credit which he is obliged to give the 
Indians to keep them from seeking their necessities from the 
English of Hudson Bay, as they did before the suppliant 
hunted them up for more than a hundred miles inland to attract 
them to th sea coast. 

Minister Maurepas had at that time too many important 
affairs on his hands to concern himself with the request of M. 
Bissot. It was put in his drawer and forgotten. 

March 15, 1736, Francois-Joseph Bissot gave a lease on 
the farm for nine years of all the rights possessed by him in 
the seigniory of Mingan to Jean-Louis Volant d' Hautebourg, 
a lawyer of Quebec. The latter promised to pay to M. Bissot 
for each year of his lease a sum of twelve hundred livres. 

In 1737 M. Bissot made a new effort to obtain from Min- 
ister Maurepas the confirmation to the concession of Mingan. 
In his own name and in that of the other heirs of the late 
Francois Bissot de la Riviere he addressed a new petition to 
M. de Maurepas. The considerations of this new petition were 
almost the same as those of the one he had presented in 1733. 
He finished by saying : "Monsieur, the suppliant has recourse 
to your Highness to prevent a very great wrong being done to 
him. He begs to be maintained in his possession of that which 
remains to him of the land which extends from the cape of the 
Dead Bodies. Especially since it appears by the ordinance of 


M. Hocquart that it extends to the limit of the concession ac- 
corded to Sr. de Lafontaine. It is very hard for him, that 
after a possession of seventy years without interruption in 
places that were up to his time inaccessible, he should see him- 
self despoiled of it, little by little. The act of faith and homage 
of which he has the honor to affix a certified copy proves thai 
this land was granted to his father. His possession of seventy 
years and more, cannot be disputed. Therefore, Mgr., he dares 
to hope that the justice of Your Highness will hasten to make 
for him a new brevet of concessions from His Majesty of the 
tract of land mentioned above. The ordinance of M. Hoc- 
quart refers to it. His co-heirs appoint him to appear before 
His Majesty to obtain this from him. He begs Your High- 
ness not to refuse him this favor that he may in his old age 
enjoy the tranquillity which his labors in these places ought to 
allow him." 

On April 9, 1738, Minister Maurepas brought the demand 
of Francois Bissot to the attention of MM. de Beauharnois and 
Hocquart and he added "if it should be agreeable to you to 
verify the facts which he has shown and to inform me of them 
giving me your advice about the request he has made, in order 
that I may place His Majesty in a condition to decide that 
which he may judge proper. If you judge that it would be 
just to grant the confirmation requested, will you take care to 
explain to me clearly the situation and the limits of the land. 
But in the examination which you make of this affair, will you 
care to propose nothing which could harm the domain of His 

The letter of Minister de Maurepas to MM. de Beauharnois 
and Hocquart arrived like mustard after dinner, since it came 
to Quebec almost a year after the death of Frangois Bissot. 
He in truth had died at Quebec Dec. 11, 1737. 

In a "Petition to justify the possession of the Bissot and 


Jolliet heirs to the post of Mingan situated on the north shore 
of the river St. Lawrence on terra firma" presented to the 
Count of Halifax, secretary of state on Oct. 23, 1763, by M. 
Lafontaine de Belcour, son-in-law of M. de Bissot, we read : 
"After his death (Frangois Bissot de la Riviere), Sr. Francois 
Bissot, the eldest of his children, continued to live at Mingan 
for forty years with his family and continued there the same 
estates that his father had developed jointly with Sr. Jolliet, 
who had married one of the sisters of Frangois Bissot, whence 
comes the right of the descendents of Sr. Jolliet in the post of 
Mingan. In 1733, Sr. Bissot, the grandfather, retired to Que- 
bec, rented the post to Sr. de Lafontaine, his son-in-law, a 
lease which was not to last longer than a year. Then Sr. 
Volant rented it from Sr. Bissot and the Jolliet heirs. 


(Montreal, September 19, 1696.) 

On the 19th day of September, 1696, was made and solem- 
nised the marriage between Jean Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes, 
officer in the detachment of the marine, age 27 years, son of 
Frangois Bissot and of Marie Couillard, of the Parish of Notre 
Dame of Quebec, and Marguerite Forestier, age 21 years, 
daughter of Antoine Forestier, surgeon, and of Madeleine de 
Cauclier, her father and mother of this parish. He has paid 
for the three bans granted by M. Dollier, Grand Vicar. The 
said marriage was made in the presence of Antoine Forestier, 
father of the girl, Seraphin Margane, Sr. de la Valterie, Cap- 
tain of the detachment of the marine, brother-in-law of the 
groom; Charles le Gardeur, Esq., Sr. de ITsle, officer of the 


troupes; jean Boudor, merchane, and Bernard Arnaud, mer- 
chant. Robert le Gaucher, grandfather of the bride. 



J. Boudor 


Marguerite Forestier 

Le Gardeur Delisle 


A. Forestier 

M. Caille, discharging the function of Cure. 


(Montreal, June 17. 1700.) 

On the 17th of June, 1700, was baptised Francois-Marie. 
son of Jean Bissot, Sr. of Vincennes, officer in the troops, and 
of Marguerite Forestier, his wife. He was born the same 
day of the said month and year. His godfather was Francois 
Margane, esq., Sr. de Batilly, also officer in the troops. His 
godmother was Marie Magd. Forestier. daughter of Sr. For- 
estier, surgeon. 


M. Magdelaine Forestier 

R. C. De Breslay P. L. acting as cure. 


(Founder of Vincennes.) 

Born at Montreal. June 17. 1700, of the marriage of Jean- 
Baptist Bissot de Vincennes, officer in the troops, and of Mar- 
gueritte Forestier. He was baptized the same day by M. l'abbe 


de Breslay. His godfather was his cousin, Frangois Margane 
de Batilly, officer in the troops, and his godmother, his aunt 
Marie-Madeline Forestier. 

Here is the explanation of the error made by most of the 
historians on the subject of the founder of Vincennes. Fran- 
cois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes sometimes signed his name 
Margane de Vincennes. whence the conclusion has been drawn 
that it was not a Bissot de Vincennes but a Margane of Laval- 
trie. Under the French regime a number of Canadians 
adopted as a middle name the name of their godfather in 
preference to those which they had received in baptism. In 
signing his name Margane de Vincennes the founder of Indi- 
ana was only honoring his godfather and following a com- 
mon custom.* 

After 1718 the young de Vincennes served with his father 
among the Miamis as a cadet. On May 20, 1722, Franqois- 
Marie Bissot de Vincennes was made a half pay ensign of 
Louisiana. J 

On October 24, 1722, Governor de Vaudreuil wrote to the 
Council of Marine: "I have received the letter which the 
council has done me the honor to write to me on the four- 
teenth of last June by which it had the goodness to inform me 
that his royal Highness approved of the plans which I had 
made to attract the savages to the St. Joseph river and to the 
Teatiky to form settlements there, and of the part which I 
have taken in sending M. de Buisson, captain, to establish a 
post among the Miamis and to be in command of this post, 
as well as of that of the Ouyatanons and to have him sent to 
the Miamis, to prevent the effect of the practices which the 
English continue to use, to attract the Indians to Orange. I 

*This custom is still very much in vogue in our time. 
tAlphabet Laffilard, vol. 11, p. 310. The same Alphabet gives also 
tlie date Oeotber 19, 1722. 


tried to take the most just measures to stop these practices 
or at least to render them useless and I hope to succeed by the 
name of Sr. de Buisson who formerly wiped away the anger 
of a part of these savages on an occasion when they were not 
allowed to have any more French brandy. By his wisdom he 
knew how to manage them in such a way that in the end he 
succeeded in making them more docile than they were before. 

"The log fort which he had built and which was finished 
last May is the finest in the upper country. It is a strong fort 
and safe from insult from the savages. This post which is 
of considerable extent ought to have a missionary. One could 
be sent there in 1724 if next year the council will send to 
Canada the four Jesuits which I ask. 

"The band of forty or fifty Ouyatanons who have settled 
on the Teatiky decided to return to their ancient dwelling when 
they saw that most of the nation did not wish to abandon it. 
The Sr. de Vincennes' son, who is only a cadet in the troops, 
is in command of this nation under the orders of Sieur de 
Buisson. He has been there since 1718 and he is very useful 
on account of the great credit which he has acquired among 
these savages who preserve for him the same attachment which 
they had for Sr. de Vincennes, his father. His services de- 
serve that the council should desire to give him their atten- 
tion. If I had foreseen the establishment which the king has 
made this year of a second ensign in each one of the twenty- 
eight companies that his Majesty maintains in Canada, I would 
have had the honor to propose him to the council, to have one 
of the places which were not yet filled by petty ensigns as they 
are at present. But since there are three second ensigns with 
letters of service who ought not to be received in this rank 
except in those places which will come to be vacant in the 
future, I beg the council very humbly to grant similar letters of 
service to the Sr. de Vincennes in order that he may be 


received in the first place which may be vacant after the Srs. 
Le Verrier, Sadrevois and Lignery have been received."* 

In 1723 when he was accused before the minister of not 
lending aid and assistance to the government of Louisiana the 
Marquis de Vaudreuil defended himself energetically. On 
October 11, 1723, M. de Vaudreuil enumerated to the min- 
ister all the means he had taken to assist louisiana. He used 
the occasion to make known the merit of M. de Vincennes : 
"After what I have done in 1719, as well as in this year, to 
prevent the Abenakis from going to live among the Foxes, for 
which I was greatly thanked by a letter which Father Aubry, 
their missionary, wrote me the third of this month, of which 
I enclose a copy, I leave you to judge, Mgr., if one has any 
right to say that I have no regard for what happens to the 
government of Louisiana, as a thing to which I ought to lend 
aid and assistance, and to prevent wars which could happen 
there on the part of the nations which are dependent on me. 

"Not only on these two occasions have I given my atten- 
tion to this matter but I have done so in many others when the 
Ouyatanons would have made war on the Illinois, if by the 
orders which I have always given to Sr. Vincennes to keep 
these two nations in peace he had not stopped the movements 
of the Ouyatanons among whom he has all the credit imagin- 
able, and had made several voyages with them to the Illinois."* 

August 17, 1724, M. de Vaudreuil wrote to M. de Bois- 
briand, commandant among the Illinois : "I am much pleased 
with the advancement of Srs. St-Ange, father and son, but I 
am surprised that you are thinking of taking Sr. de Vincennes 
away from my government and that you have tried to make 
him leave a post where he is very necessary, on account of the 
credit which he has among the savage nations of this post, 

* Archives du Canada, Correspondence genera le, vol. 44. 
♦Archives dii Canada, Correspondence generate, vol. 45. 


which you know does not belong in any way to the government 
of the Mississippi. I would be very sorry to be obliged to 
take my complaint to court, which I will, however, have to do 
if you continue to try to take him away. I flatter myself. 
Monsieur, that you will give your attention to this matter and 
that you will reflect on the inconveniences which could come 
from it. 

"I wrote last year for the advancement of Sr. de Vincennes. 
I hope that the court has paid attention to my representations 
and that he will have his advance this year.''* 

On February 9, 1725, M. Dugue de Boisbriand, command- 
ant among the Illinois, wrote to the company of the Indies: 
"It would have been advantageous to establish a post on the 
Wabash, but since up to now, they have not even kept up the 
one among the Illinois, there is little likelihood that one could 
undertake to establish this post. It is, however, much to be 
feared lest the English take possession of it, which would lose 
us entirely the colony of the upper country, since it would be 
easy for them with the enormous quantities of merchandise 
which they ordinarily carry, to gain all the savages of that 
district. Will the company have the goodness to reflect well 
on this matter ?"f 

On May 11, 1725, the company of the Indies sent to M. de 
Beauharnois, governor general of New France, a memoir in 
which it asserted that the introduction of commerce on the 
part of strangers into Canada would ruin it, do harm to the 
kingdom and alienate the savages from the French. It sug- 
gested as a means of obviating from the state, things so preju- 
dicial, the establishment of posts commanded by competent 
officers. It demanded also the severe punishment of those 

* Archives du Canada, Series F., vol. 56. p. 147. 
tPierre Margry. Memoires et Documents pour servir a L'Histoire 
des Origines Franchises des Pays d'Outre-Mer, tome, vol. 16, p. 657. 


colonists who allowed the savages to carry merchandise to the 
stranger. It also demanded that no Englishman be allowed to 
settle at Montreal. 

The company of the Indies said to M. Beauharnois that 
M. de Vincennes was the most capable man to drive the Mi- 
amis against the Foxes, if there should be occasion to make 
war against them, but it added that it was necessary to pre- 
serve the friendship and the dependence of all the savages, 
who lived along the line of communication between Canada 
and Louisiana in order to have nothing to fear from the Eng- 
lish. And for this end it demanded the establishment of a 
post at Wabash."* 

On December 22, 1725, the company of the Indies wrote 
to M. de Boisbriand: "It would be well for you to write to 
M. Vincennes, who is among the Miamis, to beg them to come 
to an understanding with the commandant of the Wabash in 
regard to the savage nations which he commands, and to give 
him information of the enterprises which the English could 
start in that district. The company begs Mgr. Count de 
Maurepas to be willing to send orders to Canada by the first 
vessels which leave for Quebec, in order that Sr. de Vincennes 
may be commanded to act in conformity, and that all the other 
officers placed among the savage nations of the government 
of Canada who live at the mouth of the Wabash river may 
protect as much as they can the post, which the company is 
establishing there, and shall join together with the command- 
ant there to drive away the English, who may penetrate as 
far as this river.f 

On April 23, 1726, M. de Vincennes was promoted to be 
second ensign.* M. de Beauharnois and Dupuy were told the 

*Rapport sur les Archives Canadiennes for 1904, p. 16. 

•"Pierre Margry, Memoires it Documents pour Servir a l'Historie 
des Origines Franchises des Pays d'Outremer, vol. 6, p. 657. 

* Alphabet Laffilard, vol. 11, p. 319. 


news by the following letter of the council of Marines (Ma) 
14, 1726) : "The six vacancies in the rank of second ensign 
have been granted to Srs. Desgly, Lorimier, de Vincennes, 
Mouchy, d'Hocquincourt, Delage, and Malespine/'f 

On the 14th of May, 1726, the king informed MM. de 
Beauharnois and Dupuy that the English had built two house! 
and some store houses on a river which flowed into the 
Ouabache, in order to trade there with the Miamis and the 
Ouyatanons. He ordered them to give orders to M. de Vin- 
cennes that he get into communication with M. de Boisbriand, 
in order to place obstacles against the expansion of the English 
in this district! 

On the 30th of September, 1726, the company of the Indies 
sent to M. Perier, governor of Louisiana, the following me- 
moirs on the measures which were to be taken by M. Vin- 
cennes to observe the conduct of the English: "About 120 
miles above the Arkansas there flows into the Mississippi the 
Ouabache river formed of four other rivers, one of which rises 
near Lake Erie and is called the St. Jerome or the Ouabache, 
the other called the Ohio rises among the Iroquois, and the 
two others called Tennessee and Cumberland rise near Vir- 
ginia. The country which these rivers water abounds in wild 
cattle and is not yet occupied by any European nation." 

"Since the first of these rivers is the means of communica- 
tion between Louisiana and Canada, and since this communi- 
cation will be entirely broken if the Englsh form a settlement 
at the confluence of one of these three other rivers, which 
would expose, at the same time, the country of the Illinois and 
place in danger all the upper country of the colony, the com- 
pany has ordered the establishment of a post on the Wabash 
river and has begged the governor of Canada to order the Sr. 

tArchives du Canada, Serie B., vol. 42. 

$Rapport sur les Archives Canadieunes for 1904, p. 72. 


de Vincennes who is in command among the Ouyatanon-Mia- 
mis settled near the source of the Wabash, to get into com- 
munication with the commandant of the new post, to make this 
nation approach to protect this post and also to observe the 
conduct of the English and to drive them away in case they 
draw near. 

"M. Perrier will see by the enclosed copies of the letter 
written to M. de Boisbriand and of the memoirs sent to M. le 
count de Beauharnois, what the company considers ought to 
be done in this matter. M. de Boisbriand advises in reply that 
the lack of merchandise prevents him from establishing the 
said post and that he believes it necessary to give the com- 
mand of it to M. de Vincennes, who is already half-pay lieu- 
tenant of infantry at Louisiana and who can treat with the 
Miamis better than any other. 

"On the other hand the company learns through M. Des- 
liettes, commandant among the Illinois, that Sr. de Vincennes 
had come to find him and to tell him that he had learned that 
the English had already formed a settlement near the source 
of the Ohio river, and that he had sent the Sr. de Vincennes 
with presents for the Indians, ordering him to make sure of 
the truth of this news. If it is confirmed there is not a moment 
to lose in having the lower part of the Ohio river occupied by 
the Ouyatanons, and it is necessary immediately to establish 
a fort on the Wabash near the place where the Cumberland 
rivers flows into it. To place there in command an officer 
who can live in harmony with the Sr. de Vincennes, whom it 
will not do at all to remove from the Ouyatanons, if one 
hopes to get from them the service which we desire. M. Per- 
rier must consider well this affair and find out, if in giving 
eight or ten soldiers to the said Sr. de Vincennes with the 
missionary destined for Wabash, he will not find himself in 
condition to assure, through the savages, the communications 
between Louisiana and Canada, and of preventing the Eng- 


lish from penetrating into our colony, without obliging the 
company to construct in the lower regions of the Wabash 
river a fort, the expense of the establishment of which, and 
the maintenance of a garrison would be an object of con- 

"In order to persuade the Sr. de Vincennes to attach him- 
self to the colony of Louisiana, M. Perrier advised him that 
he would obtain from the company for him an annual stipend 
of three hundred livres which would be paid to him along 
with his salary of half -pay lieutenant."* 
des Origines Franchises des Pays d'Outremer, vol. 16, p. 658. 

In the list of officers of the troops of the detachment of the 
Marine serving in New France signed at Quebec October 15. 
1729, one reads: "Second ensign; Vincennes. "f 

On April 4, 1730, M. de Vincennes was confirmed half -pay 
lieutenant of Louisiana. He had already served in this capac- 
ity several years without having the rank. 

On October 15, 1730, MM. de Beauharnois and Hocquart 
wrote to the minister: "We have received the letter which 
you have done us the honor to write to us, the second of last 
March, sharing with us the reflections which you had made on 
the means of preventing the commerce of the English with the 
savages and concerning which it has pleased you to ask our 

"To prevent this commerce it is necessary to stop it en- 
tirely. Which means that precautions must be taken that the 
post of Niagara and of Fort Frontenac are always well sup- 
plied with merchandise for trading. That will be very easy 
if the king's ship arrives in good season as it did this year. 

"As regards the post of Detroit and equally the prevention 
of commerce of the English with the savages, it will be im- 
portant to follow the intentions which one had in mind in the 

*Peirre Margry, Memoires et Documents Pour Servir a V Histoire 

tArchives du Canada, serie F., vol. 51. 


;first settlement and to accomplish it, it is necessary to estab- 
lish there a good garrison in the beginning, in order that fol- 
lowing the intention of the court, this post may be in a state 
to maintain good order and to make respected the French and 
the savages. 

"It is certain that the intentions, which have been held 
since the establishment of Detroit, were, in part, to break off 
the liaisons of the English with the savages and to cause to 
cease the commerce which they carry on among them. The 
expedient which we use to carry out these intentions and to 
prevent entirely the association of the savages with the English 
: might be, as you have done us the honor to point out to us, to 
oblige the Miamis and the Ouyatanons to come to supply their 
needs at Detroit, not allowing travelers to carry anything 
among them. But we think that there is cause for fear lest 
the English go among the savages, who will receive them, 
thinking that the French have abandoned them. It is certain 
that, if at present, we abandon one only of the posts which the 
French occupy, that the English will establish themselves there 
immediately. So we think that it is necessary, better to fortify 
those which we have today, rather than to weaken them in 
obliging one nation to go among another to find there the 
necessities of life, the more, that it seems to us dangerous to 
assemble different savage nations in the same place for fear 
that they do not get along well together. 

"The Ouyatanons have been led into the government of 
Louisiana by the Sr. de Vincennes, who is entirely separated 
from this government.* Sr. de V Beauharnois (to oblige 
this nation to return among the Miamis to supply their wants) 
at first intended to allow no traveler to come up from that 
territory and he would have put his plan in execution, if he 
had not found himself obliged to grant this permission to 
Frenchmen in order to send missionaries to the Tamarois, and 

*That Is the government of Canada. 


they brought with them merchandise in great quantities which 
they put on sale in the old post as usual."f 

In the plan of the state of the expenditures for the year 
1731 one sees that the officer in command at Wabash was to 
receive as a supplement to his salary, as well as for the main- 
tenance of the fort during the last six months of the year 1731 
a sum of 400 livres at the rate of 800 livres a year. The same 
budget gives us the name of the officers who were at Quebec, 
with the salaries which they were to receive: St. Jantzen, 
lieutenant, 240 livres for the last six months; Sr. de Saint- 
Ange, 240 livres for the last six months ; and Sr. de Vincennes 
240 livres for the last six months.* 

October 12, 1732, MM. de Beauharnois and Hocquart 
wrote to the minister: "Sr. de Vincennes who is among the 
Ouyatanons has been informed of the last arrangements made 
for the transportation of Illinois cattle to Canada, and has 
written to M. de Beauharnois, that, if His Majesty will grant 
the same perquisite that he has to Sr. Gastineau, that is to say 
1000 livres he will guarantee to send them alive to Canada. 
As the arrangements were only conditional, we have replied 
to him that he would be treated as Sr. Gastineau had been."f 

In a list of officers of the troops of the detachment of 
Marine in 1732, one reads Bissot de Vincennes, ensign, thirty- 
four years old. J In reality M. de Vincennes was only thirty- 
two years old in 1732. 

In the budget of expenses of 1732 for salaries and per- 
quisites of Louisiana one finds: "To M. de Vincennes, com- 
mandant at Wabash for a perquisite 800 pounds.§ 

t Archives du Canada, Correspondence generate, serie F., vol 52, 
p. 27. 

*J. P. Dunn, The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 297. 
f Archives du Canada, sirie F., vol. 57, p. 73. 
SL'abbe Daniel, Apercu sur Quelques Contemporains, p. 52, 
§J. P. Dunn, The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 307. 


In a letter that M. de Vincennes wrote on March 7, 1733, 
to one of the officials of the department of the Marine in 
France one finds interesting information about his post and 
about these savages among whom he lived. "To reply to your 
letter which I have had the honor to receive I begin by inform- 
ing you that the Wabash is composed of five nations who 
compose four villages of which the least has sixty men carry- 
ing arms, and all of them could furnish from six to seven hun- 
dred men if it were necessary to assemble them for the wel- 
fare of the service and for their own welfare. On account of 
the nearness of the English, it has been impossible for me to 
bring together all these nations because there has always been 
a lack of merchandise in this place. The fort which I have 
built is about eighty miles in the Wabash country up the river 
by which the English have been able to descend and open up 
commerce with these nations. The place is very suitable in 
which to build a great settlement which I would have done if 
I had had troops enough. In regard to the commerce which 
one can carry on here, a traffic in skins could go on all year 
to the extent of 30,000 skins. This is the only commerce, 
Monsieur, which could be carried on for the present. 

"I have never had a greater need of troops in these places 
than at the present time. The savages, the Illinois, as well as 
the Miamis and others are more insolent than they have ever 
been, especially since the Foxes were defeated. The little 
experience which I have acquired in the twenty years that I 
have been among them, causes me to fear some evil trick on 
the part of these nations and above all, of my own who seeing 
a settlement which I had begun, did not seem to wish it to be 
continued. Since for three years nothing has happened. Ex- 
cept, Monsieur, the migration of all the nations not only of 
the lakes but also of other places. 

"You do me the honor to indicate to me that I send you a 
statement of the work done and to be done. There is only one 


fort and two houses within and it will be necessary very soon 
to build a guard house with barracks in which to lodge the 
soldiers. Nothing else is possible in this place with so few 
troops. I need thirty men with an officer. I am more embar- 
rassed than ever, in this place, by the war with the Chicasaws 
who have come twice since spring. Only two days ago the last 
party took away three people and since the French took up 
tomahawks against them I am obliged every day to put up a 
defense. I hope, that of your goodness, you will indeed wish 
to give your attention to this place and to my difficulty for 
myself as well as for the little garrison which I have. This is 
the favor w T hich he awaits, from you, who has the honor to be. 
with profound respect, M., your very humble and very obe- 
dient servant, 


On March 21, 1733, M. de Vincennes wrote another equally 
interesting letter to the same person : "I have just received a 
packet from M. le marquis de Beauharnois which I have sent 
to M. de Saint- Ange in order that you may have it as quickly 
as possible. 

"M. le marquis de Beauharnois sent me a belt and a pipe 
for the Illinois which I sent to M. de Saine-Ange to insist that 
the nations go and attack the Chickasaws. All the nations of 
Canada and of the lakes start this spring to go there. Both 
nations here have gone even their chiefs. Not a single man 
remained in all these villages. And they all passed in front 
of this post, which is not a favorable condition. 

"I had the honor to inform you in my last letter that the 
Chickasaws this autumn killed six Frenchmen in the Wabash 
country who had come to this post and were living here. This 
same party killed one of the savages of this post and his wife. 
If they begin to come in these places it will be difficult to 
travel. M. le marquis de Beauharnois indicates to me that he 


wishes absolutely to destroy the Chickasaws and their allies 
and to prevent these nations from joining those of Canada. 

"In this post we lack everything. I am obliged to borrow 
from travellers and to give the little that I have myself to 
take care of all the affairs which come up daily. I have the 
honor to beg you, Monsieur, to give your attention to this 
matter and to have me reimbursed for what I have furnished. 
I realize that it has already cost me much. When these nations 
return and when all the prisoners, which they have taken are 
given to us, it will be necessary to pay for this sort of thing as 
well as to look for the dead if we lose any one. I hope that 
they will come this autumn and make the attack. At least I 
will invite them here since they are all disposed to come. I am 
about to go in a few days to their large village and if I find 
everything quiet I may go down into Canada. M. le marquis 
de Beauharnois tells me that he will allow me to make this trip 
to attend to some family matters. I will not be longer than 
five months on this voyage. I am writing to M. Saint-Ange' 
to send his son in my absence. I hope Monsieur that you will 
not take it ill, that I make this trip because I will not do it 
unless I see everything in good shape in this continent. I have 
the honor to be 

"With profound respect, M., your very humble and very 
obedient servant, 


The fort of Wabash, March 21, 1733."* 

On March 24, 1733, Count de Maurepas, president of the 
Council of Marine, wrote to MM. de Beauharnois and Hoc- 
quart that Sr. Gastineau having been unsuccessful in sending 
the cattle from Illinois, it was not necessary to make arrange- 
ments with M. de Vincennes, commandant among the Ouyata- 
nons, since the experience of Sr. Cugnet did not give reason to 

*J. P. Dunn. The Mission of the Ouabache, p. 305. 


hope that one could obtain wool from them. There was there- 
fore no advantage in domesticating these animals. t 

On April 1, 1733. M. de Yincennes was made half-pay lieu- 
tenant in Canada. J 

On May 20, 1733, MM. de Bienville and Salmon wrote to 
the minister : "By the same letter Sr. Saint-Ange says that he 
is little assured of the fidelity of the Illinois, who often give 
him alarm and seem likely to fear our resentment over their 
past faults in order to have a pretext to make a disturbance. 

''In another region Sr. de Yincennes who is in command 
among the Miami calls attention to the fact that the savages 
settled on the Wabash are not any more tranquil than the 
Illinois. That he is in no condition to prevent their carrying 
on commerce with the English since it is necessary to reunite 
them all, and since he has no merchandise to attract them, since 
moreover the garrison is too feeble to restrain these nations.* 

In a memoir of M. de Bienville on Louisiana which seems 
to be about 1733, it is said: "Sr. de Yincennes who com- 
manded there (at Wabash) informed him that the Peangui- 
chas who were settled near our fort desired to bring among 
them a village of the same nation who had remained about 
sixty miles higher up the river. Two reasons made him favor 
this design, the first to fortify our settlement and the second to 
take away from this village the facility of commerce with the 
English who had established two stores among the Chanua- 
nons on the Ohio River.f 

In their letter to the minister April 8, 1734, MM. de Bien- 
ville and Salmon wrote: "As concerns Wabash, M. de Vin- 
cennes from whom we have had no news informs us by a mes- 
senger, who has just come down from among the Illinois, that 

tRapport sur les Archives Canadiennes for 1904, p. 169. 

t Alpha bet Laffillard. vol. 11, p. 319. 

*J. P. Dunn. The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 300. 

tj. P. Dunn. The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 30S. 


the fort which he had built for the garrison which consisted 
of only ten men is very small and in fairly good condition, that 
it is necessary only to place around it a double wall of stone. 
That he has had built within a house at his own expense for 
his dwelling and that some of the soldiers on their part have 
made barracks to live in, that immediately the garrison is to be 
increased to thirty men, an order which M. de Bienville has 
given to M. Dartaguiette.J 

On April 13, 1734, in his letter to MM. de Beauharnois and 
Hocquart, M. de Maurepas returning to the proposition of M. 
de Vincennes approved that they had written to him not to 
send cattle from Illinois, this enterprise appearing imprac- 

July 20, 1734, the king had a letter written to M. de Beau- 
harnois saying that he had learned by way of Louisiana that 
the Foxes, after the unfortunate affair of the Bay of St. 
Joseph, had retired on to the Wisconsin river and that M.. 
Dartaguettes had sent scouts after them to locate them and 
to make the nation march against them. The king added that 
Sr. de Vincennes, commandant at Wabash, had written to him 
that the savage Peauguichias, settled near his fort, wished to 
bring to themselves the greater part of their nation who were 
sixty miles higher up. This would have given importance to 
Wabash and would have taken away from the English the 
commerce which they were carrying on with the Peauguichias 
village. The savage Chouanons who had two English com- 
mercial agencies established near them had the same intention 
of going away, a party to Wabash and a party to Detroit. 

July 27, 1734, M. de Bienville wrote to the minister : "Sr. 
de Vincennes, who is in command at Wabash, advises him that 
the Peauguichias, who have settled near our fort, desire to 
attach to themselves a village of the same nation who remain 

tJ. P. Dunn, The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 308. 


sixty miles higher up. Two reasons make him favor this 
design the first to fortify our settlement and second to take 
away from this village facility of commerce with the English. 

"This officer adds that it will not be difficult to take away 
from them this nation who have only given them the prefer- 
ence because it was not so easy to obtain their necessities from 
us as from the English. He is sure that a party has the inten- 
tion of going to Detroit and another of coming to him. If 
Monsieur considers that these changes are advantageous, I will 
give orders in consequence to AT de Vincennes. Moreover, 
since the post of Wabash is one of the most important of the 
colony, being a barrier which is opposed to the progress of the 
English who have always frequented much these districts, he 
has given orders to M. Dartaguettes to detach thirty men with 
two officers to make up the garrison for it.* 

On August 20, 1735, M. de Bienville wrote to the minister: 
"Sr. de Vincennes who is in command of the fort of the Pean- 
guichias has persuaded the savages of his district to declare 
war against the Chickasaws and has secured from M. Darta- 
guettes the argeement to march with them, with those of the 
French which he can get together. Since this officer has much 
influence over the minds of the savages M. de Bienville is 
persuaded that he will encourage them to do their best/'f 

The Chickasaws, a large and enterprising nation, very hos- 
tile to the French and allied with the English with whom they 
kept up continuous and important commercial relation, inhab- 
ited all the country between the Illinois and the Choctaws on 
the south. Each year they grew larger from the debris of 
other tribes who came to unite with them and to bring to 
them a new strength. Assured of the aid of the English, hav- 
ing in their power a strong contingent of savages, they enjoyed 

*J. P. Dunn, Tlie Mission to the Guabacbe, p. 329. 
fj. P. Dunn, The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 309. 


disturbing the French settled among the Tonicas and the Ar- 
kansas. They attacked their convoys going up among the 
Illinois and, what concerned much the governors of Quebec 
and of New Orleans, they favored the establishment of colo- 
nies from Virginia on the Ohio and on the Illinois rivers. 
England very much desired this establishment, which was to 
serve as a barrier between the two colonies of Canada and of 
Louisiana, and was to weaken them in separating them. More- 
over she hoped in this way to obtain possession of the trade in 
skins from the south to the north of America, because the 
savage tribes were persuaded, not without reason, that the 
English could more easily than the French bring plenty into 
their country in giving to them at better rates their merchan-. 
dise from Europe and buying more dearly the product of their 

The aggressive and provoking attitude of the Chickasaws 
could not long be endured. It was important to reduce their 
power as soon as possible, if one wished to assure the free 
possession of the Mississippi valley and to prevent the English 
from opening stores between Canada and Louisiana. 

The governor of Louisiana, M. de Bienville, summoned the 
Chickasaws to bring him without delay the head of the Natchez 
who had taken refuge among them. The chief replied "the 
Natchez form one nation with the Chickasaws, we can not give 
them up." Little content with this reply M. de Bienville de- 
clared war against them. He ordered the commandant among 
the Illinois, M. Dartaguettes, to levy as many soldiers as he 
could among the Illinois, the Canadians and the French in the 
Chickasaw country on May 10, 1736. He himself would unite 
at Mobile all those available in Louisiana. He would ascend 
the river of the same name by a flotilla of rafts and of boats 
and would arrive at Tombeche (today Cotton Gin Port). 
There 200 Choctaws awaited him with Father Beaudoin, their 
missionary. The army would set on the march the next day 


and on the evening of May 27 it would camp one mile from 
the great village of the Chickasaws. 

The arrangement made by M. de Bienville could not be so 
secret that they were not discovered by the enemy. The Chick- 
asaws. guided by the English, fortified their retrenchments and 
awaited the French with assurance. Two assaults were made 
the same day and vigorously repulsed. Unhappily the gov- 
ernor, who did not think that he would need his artillery, 
had left it seven miles away and he had no time to bring it up, 
for the savages of other towns ran in great numbers to aid the 
great village. He sent back the Choctaws with presents, or- 
dered a retreat and took the road back to Mobile. 

This expedition for which a two years' preparation had 
been made culminating in so inglorious a manner diminished 
perceptibly the reputation of the great captain. His friends 
tried to make the blame fall on commandant Dartaguettes 
who had not joined him, they said, as he had been ordered. 
This defense was mistaken, for the commandant had invaded 
the land of the Chickasaws on the ninth of May at the head of 
130 French or Canadians, 100 Illinois M. de Vincennes' sav- 
ages and some Iroquois. There were about 400 men. Ban- 
croft says there were nearly 1,100. 

For ten days M. Dartaguettes camped at the sources of the 
Yalabusha and waited there futilely for M. de Bienville, to 
the great discontent of the savages who became impatient, 
murmured and threatened to desert. In this situation he took 
the course which seemed to him wisest and most dignified. He 
set his troops in movement, took possession of a village and 
marched against another. There he hesitated, the French 
scouts asserted that the village was defended by numerous 
troops. The savages maintained the contrary. He believed 
the latter and commanded an assault. A first and then a sec- 
ond fort was deprived of its flag; at the assault of the third he 
was wounded and fell. Discouraged, the savages betook them- 


selves to a precipitate flight except the Iroquois who accom- 
plished prodigies of valor. With them, the officers and the 
soldiers resisted the enemy until the moment when, being out- 
flanked, and succumbing to a greater number they were forced 
to think of retreating. The greater part of the French and the 
Iroquois succeeded in escaping and retiring in good order under 
the guidance of Voisin, a soldier sixteen years old who made 
himself officer and directed the retreat with the sang-froid and 
the experience of an old captain. Followed by the Chickasaws 
for 25 miles, he held them at a distance and made his men, 
inspired by his example, run for 45 miles without food carry- 
ing the wounded. 

At the assault of the third fort some soldiers and the three 
brothers Drouet de Richerville, distinguished officers, found a 
glorious death. MM. Dartaguettes, de Vincennes, de Cou- 
Jange, the fourth brother de Drouet, Du Tisne, d'Esgly, de 
Sainte-Ange, de Tonty and fifteen or sixteen soldiers were 
made prisoners and led to a mound in the middle of the town. 
There stripped first of their clothing, insulted and cruelly 
beaten they were thrown on two pyres where they expired with 
the most atrocious suffering. 

With these heroes died, under the same tortures, the Jesuit 
Antoine Senat. He had arrived from France among the Illi- 
nois in 1734, and M. Dartaguettes had attached him to himself 
as a chaplain when he set out against the Chickasaws. . . . 
He could have fled with Voisin and his companions ; he was 
advised to do it, he was even offered a horse but he refused, 
his duty being to be with the French whom the enemy were 
about to make captive. He was taken with them. With them 
he marched to the place of martyrdom ; with them he submitted 
to the last outrages and the bastinade. The dream of his 
heart of an apostle was realized. He heard the last confes- 
sion of his companions. He absolved them and exhorted them 
to offer to God with courage and like true martyrs the sacri- 


fice of their life. Before mounting the pyre, falling on their 
knees they prayed, then they entoned in a firm voice the psalms 
and the canticle and continued then in the midst of the flame. 
Later, in relating this scene of martyrdom, the savages said 
that the French sang as they went up ; and in seeing them die 
they gave them this praise by these simple words 'Truly these 
Frenchmen are not women, but men."* 

On what date and in what place were M. de Vincennes and 
his heroic companions put to death by the Chickasaws ? Opin- 
ions differ considerably about the date of the death of M. dc 
Vincennes. Several official accounts, those of the abbe Fer- 
land, the R. P. de Rochemonteix and most of the authors who 
come after them, say that this event took place the end of May, 

They are mistaken. On April 13, 1736, Toussaint Loizel 
wrote from Sainte-Ange among the Illinois to his brother who 
lived at Montreal: ''Before I finish I must send you a word 
concerning the war which has been made against the Chicka- 
saws where we have lost forty French. M. Dartaguettes com- 
mandant of the said post has been killed with seven officers 
of the troops, four of the militia. . . . 

Then Loizel names to his brother some of the officers and 
soldiers who have been killed by the Chickasaws: "MM. de 
Sainte-Ange, son, Coulonge, Levillie, the young Declaude. 
Vincennes, la Graviere with M. Belcour and another of his 
brothers and the fourth with a broken shoulder, M. de Tonty, 
d'Esgly, and the old Lalonde and Antoine Carriere, Louis 
Langlois, M. Dutilly, son. The others are Frenchmen of Que- 
bec. You do not know them."* 

The letter from M. Loizel as we have just seen is dated 

*Pere Caraille de Rochemonteix, Les Jesuites et Li Nouvelle France 
:iu XVIIIe siecle, vol. 1, pp. 361, et seq. 

*M. Phileas Gagnon has published the letter of Loizel in the Bulle 
tin des Recherches Historiqnes, vol. VI, p. 110. 


April 13, 1736. Therefore M. de Vincennes and his com- 
panions were put to death before April 13. 

But we have a contemporaneous authority who gives us 
the exact date of the death of M. de Vincennes. 

June 29, 1736, Father Mathurin LePetit, superior of the 
Jesuits of Louisiana, wrote to the general of his order at 
Rome: "Patrem Senate provincia tolosana qui in eadem re- 
gione alteram illinensium missionem a 18 mensibus tantum 
sed magna jam linguae peritia et majori studio excolebat, belli 
casus nobis prepepuit die dominica palmarum." 

(On palm Sunday the fortune of war took away from us 
Father Senat of the province of Toulousse. He had charge 
of another mission of the Illinois in the same country for only 
eighteen months but he already knew the language and was 
still more remarkable for his zeal.)* 

Two years later, June 25, 1738, Pierre LePetit, writing 
again to the general of his order, repeated the fact that Father 
Senat had been burned on Palm Sunday, 1736: 

"Post Multos rumores, tandem facti sumus certiores P. 
Antonii Senat generosam caritatem gloriosa martyrii corona 
fuisse donatam eo ipso die (dominica Palmarum a 1736) quo 
comprehensus fuit a babbaris nostraegentis hostibus vulgo dic- 
tis Thikakas.'' 

(After many rumors we are at last certain that Father 
Antoine Senat has been recompensed for his generous charity 
by the glorious crown of Martyr. On the same day (Palm 
Sunday, 1736) that he was made prisoner by the savages ene- 
mies of our nation commonly called Chickasaws.)f 

Father Senat and M. de Vincennes being put to death to- 
gether, it follows that the latter was burned Palm Sunday, 
1736, that is March 25, 1736. 

It is very difficult to establish the precise place where M. de 

*The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, vol. LXVIII, p. 308. 
tThe Jesuit Relations and xillied Documents, vol. LXIX, p. 28. 


Vincennes was put to death. However all witnesses seem to 
agree in placing the forts of the Chickasaws near Fulton, Lee 
County, Miss., U. S. 

The sources to consult on the last campaign and the death 
of Francois-Marie Bissot de-Vincennes are : 

Letter of M. Cremont to the minister, 1736. Original of 
this letter at the Archives of the Marine, in Paris. A resume 
of it is found in the Rapport sur les Archives Canadiennes for 
1905, vol. 1, p. 542. 

Account which Sr. Drouet de Richerville tells of the en- 
gagement which M. D'Artaguette had with the Chickasaws in 
the month of March, 1736. Original of this account at the 
Archives of the Marine, in Paris. A resume of it may be 
found in the Rapport sur les Archives Canadiennes for 1905, 
vol. 1, p. 452. 

Recital of the march and of the defeat of M. Dartaguiette 
told under the name Parisien. Original of this recital in the 
Archives of the Marine, at Paris. Resume in the Rapport sur 
les Archives Canadiennes for 1905, vol. 1, p. 453. 

Anonymous account of the defeat of M. Dartaguiette. 
Original of this account at the Archives of the Marine, in 
Paris. Resume in the Rapport sur les i\rchives Canadiennes 
for 1905, vol. 1, p. 453. 

Recital by M. de Bienville of his expedition to the country 
of the Chickasaws, of the non success of his enterprise and of 
his retreat. Original at the Archives of the Marine, in Paris. 

List of the troops and militia who made the campaign 
against the Chickasaws, 1736. Archives de la Marine, at Paris. 

Banishment of the Jesuits from Louisiana, in Documents 
Inedits of Father Carayon, XIV, p. 24. 

Letter of the Jesuit father, Le Petit, to the general of the 
Jesuits, New Orleans, June 29, 1736, published in Jesuit Rela- 
tions and Other Documents, vol. LXVIII, p. 308. 

Letter of the Jesuit father, LePetit, to the general of the 


Jesuits, New Orleans, April 24, 1738, published in Jesuit Rela- 
tions and Other Documents, vol. LX1X, p. 28. 

June 21, 1737, M. de Bienville wrote to the minister: "The 
Peanghikeas among whom we have a post where the late M. de 
Vincennes was in command have almost all left their village 
since his death, except about fifteen men who are still with 
Sr. de Sainte-Ange. They have gone higher up on the Wabash 
to another village. I foresee that if this station is deserted we 
will be disturbed by the Chickasaws at this post where the 
garrison is not strong. This circumstance and the recent and 
repeated attempts of the English to penetrate into the colony 
by way of the Ohio river by which they descend into the 
Wabash country has determined me to replace this fort about 
forty miles further down at the mouth of this river. I would 
have done this sooner if the savages had been willing to fol- 
low us there. It appears now that the Kickapoos and the Mas- 
coutins who came two years ago to set up their village with 
the Miamis do not get along well with them, and M. de la 
Buissoniere assures me that if one should invite them, they 
would settle there. I sent him orders for this change which 
would not cost much and I hope that Mgr. will approve of 
them. I only fear that Sr. de Linquetot, an officer of Canada 
who is in command among the Miami and the Ouyatanons may 
be opposed to letting the Kickapoos and the Mascoutins go, 
because these two nations belong to his department. I will 
write to him on this subject."* 

On the next day, June 22, 1737, M. Salmon wrote in his 
turn to the minister : "I learn through Sr. Delaioire that the 
Sr. Sainte-Ange, son, who went up to the Wabash country to 
take command of that post in place of the late M. de Vin- 
cennes, reports to him that the savages who are his neighbors 
desire to abandon him, that some of them have already gone 
away to their ancient village of Vermillion to such a number 

*J. P. Dunn, The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 310. 


that there remain not more than twenty-five men. That if 
they go away, as seems likely, he will be forced to disband the 
garrison who will find themselves at the mercy of their ene- 
mies. He adds that he has not seen, up to the present, that this 
post was of great use and that it causes much expense. For 
myself I think that truly it is more expensive than it is useful. 
However it might be of consequence to preserve to prevent 
the English from settling there which they will certainly do if 
we abandon it."* 

It has been written that Frangois-Marie de Vincennes was 
chevalier de Saint-Louis. No. In the official list of the of- 
ficers killed by the Chickasaws on March 25, 1736, one reads 
Chevalier de Vincennes. That does not mean that M. de 
Vincennes was chevalier of Saint-Louis. Bescherelle says, 
"The eldest son of a baron, the third son of a count, the fifth 
son of a marquis were called chevalier without belonging to 
any order of chivalry." 

All that was imitated in New France. Here, generally, the 
title of Chevalier was given to the younger brothers of a fam- 
ily. Frangois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes adopted the title of 
chevalier probably because he belonged to the junior branch 
of the Bissot family. 

Seraphin Margane de Lavaltrie was originally from Paris, 
parish Saint-Benoit. He was the son of Sabastien Margane 

*.T. P. Dunn, The Mission to the Ouabache, p. 312. 
tM de Lavaltrie signed his name either "La Valterie" or "L- 
Valtrie." It is written la Valterye, La Valtrye, La Valtery, La Val- 
terie, la Valterie, la Valtrie, and Lavaltrie. We adopt this last 
orthography which is the most commonly used in our time and which 
moreover approaches most nearly that employed by M. Lavnltrie 


and of Denise Jonnot The father of Seraphin Margane was 

an advocat in the parliament of Paris. 

Lieutenant of the guard of Marshal d' Estrades. then lieu- 
tenant of the regiment de Lignieres, M. de Lavaltrie took serv- 
ice under M. de Tracy, in 1664 and went to New France as a 
lieutenant in the regiment de Carignan in 1665. 

When Louis XIV recalled Carignan's regiment back to 
France he informed the officers and soldiers that he would be 
well pleased to have a certain number of them settle in the 
new country. Several officers and more than four hundred 
soldiers adopted therefore Canada as their new fatherland. 
The soldiers received a little sum of money to assist in their 
settlement and the king gave the officers concessions of land. 
M. de Lavaltrie was among those who stayed here. October 
29, 1672, the intendant Talon granted to him an important con- 
cession of land. 

The conditions imposed on M. de Lavaltrie were the same 
as those of all the grants of seigniorys at this time ; faith and 
homage to the Chateau St. Louis at Quebec to maintain or 
cause to be maintained residence and occupation on the con- 
cession; the preservation of the forests of oak; a report to the 
king or to the company of the West Indies of the mines and 
minerals found in the seigniory, etc., etc. 

In 1673 M. de Lavaltrie joined M. de Frontenac's expedi- 
tion to Lake Ontario. The governor left Montreal toward the 
end of June with a fleet of four flat boats and 120 canoes 
which carried six cannon and 4O0 men. The principal object 
of M. de Frontenac's voyage was to build a fort on the shores 
of Lake Ontario, whence one could watch the movements of 
the Iroquois. The fort was placed on the point near the mouth 
of the Catarakoui river and received the name of Frontenac. 
Today it is Kingston. They worked with such ardor that the 
fort was built in several days. M. de Frontenac was even 
able to leave a commandant with a little garrison. 


The official account of the expedition to Lake 
mentions M. de Lavaltrie's name several times. 

The census of New France made in the autumn of 1681 in- 
forms us that M. de Lavaltrie was settled at his seigniory. 
He was then thirty-eight years old. his wife twenty-nine, their 
children Marie-Anne, thirteen. Charies eleven. Francois-Marie 
nine. Genevieve seven. Louise five, Pierre three., and ft 
eight months old. There were in the manor three guns and 
two pistols. The stables contained ten horned cattle. M. de 
Lavaltrie possessed twenty* acres in cultivation. The censns 
gives us also the names of the tenants of Seignior de Laval- 
trie: Gabriel Gibault, Francois Bottom Antoine Deseve, 
Cassavant, Pierre Guignet, Jacques Lafontaine, Pierre Le- 
siege. Nicholas Prunier and Claud Bourgeois. 

Nicolas Perrot writes in his "Memoir on the Manner, Cus- 
toms and Religion of the Savages of North America." 

'T was sent in the spring of 1685 to the Bay des Paants 
with the commission of commander in chief of the furthest 
countries of the east coast and moreover of those which I 
might discover. M. de la Durantaye relieved M. de Lavaltrie 
who had been commandant in the country of the Iroquois/ 5 

If M. de Lavaltrie was commandant in the east before M. 
de la Durantaye he remained there very little time, for from 
1673 to 1685 one notices his absence almost continually at his 
seigniory of Lavaltrie or at Montreal 

In 16S7 in M. de Denonviiie's expedition against the Tson- 
nontouans M. de Caliieres was commander general of the mili- 
tia, divided in four groups as were also the king's tro 
commanded by MM. Berthier Becard de Grandvifle, Le 
Moyne. de Longueuil and Lavaltrie. Again in this expeci: : \; 
M. de Lavaltrie showed his military qualities. On Lny 15 at 
a little distance from the principle village of the Tsar- - 
touans he rendered a great service to M. de L guen 


ing the advance guard of his army from being surprised by 
the Indians. 

In 1690 when Sir William Phipps was about to lay siege 
to Quebec, M. de Frontenac sent M. de Ramezay to M. de 
Callieres, governor of Montreal, to order him to have the 
troops and the militia sent down. The recruiting of the troops 
and of the inhabitants was made so rapidly that three days 
later the contingent from Montreal arrived at Quebec. None 
of the numerous accounts of the siege of Quebec tell us that 
M. de Lavaltrie took part in the glorious defense of the capi- 
tol, but we have nevertheless the right to presume that M. de 
Lavaltrie was of the party with the brave militia from his 

November 12, 1690, M. de Frontenac, giving an account 
of the raising of the siege of Quebec to Minister de Seignelay, 
wrote: "I send you the rank of the officers which I have 
replaced since the reform of last year, since I could not still 
recognize them I have not acted in this matter except by the 
light which Monsieur, the intendant, has given me. He has 
considered it expedient, and I have, too, to find means of 
satisfying by certain marks of honor, which will cost nothing 
to the king those persons, who have rendered excellent service 
in the preceding campaigns and to whom M. de Denonville had 
promised a recompense. A fact which obliges me to add cer- 
tain commissions to those who were captains, lieutenants and 
half-pay ensigns, but AD HONORES only, in the hope that 
you will not disapprove." 

In the rank of which there is here question we see that M. 
de Lavaltrie received a commission of lieutenant in the place of 
M. de Louvigny who was made half-pay captain. M. de Fron- 
tenac thus recompensed M. de Lavaltrie for his good conduct 
in the expeditions of 1673,. of 1687, and probably also at the 
siege of Quebec. 


M. de Lavaltrie died at Montreal May 16, 1699, and was 
buried the next day in the parish church. 

He had married at Quebec, August 12, 1668, Louise Bissot, 
daughter of Franchise Bissot de la Riviere and of Marie 

October 20, 1699, MM. de Callieres and de Champigny 
wrote to the minister : 

"The sieur de Lavaltrie left a widow very poor with five 
or six children to whom his appointments and a stipend of 150 
iivres gave the means of living. They find themselves entirely 
deprived of it and, in consequence, of everything else. We 
can not, in so desperate a situation of this poor family, fail to 
beg His Majesty to continue at least the stipend in the name 
of the widow. May 31, 1700, the king sent a reply that he 
could not for the present grant to Madame de Lavaltrie the 
pension which she demanded. A little later the governor and 
the intendant returned to the charge and this time the king ac- 
ceded to their demand. M. de Lavaltrie received a modest 
pension until her death at Montreal, March 1, 1783. 

Of the marriage of Seraphine Margane de Lavaltrie and 
of Louise Bissot were born eleven children. 

1. Marie Anne. M. de L., born at Quebec, June 20, 1668. 
Married at Montreal, October 28, 1694, to Ignace Boucher de 

In 1725 Madame Boucher cle Grobois still lived at Boucher- 

2. Charles Seraphin M. de L., born at Montreal, August 
5, 1669. 

In 1691, the governor of Frontenac granted him a commis- 
sion as ensign in the place of M. Boucher de Grandpre who 
was made half-pay lieutenant. This commission was con- 
firmed by the king March 1, 1693. 

In 1693, M. de Frontenac entrusted M. d' Ailleboust d' Ar- 


genteuil with an important message for M. de Lavigny, com- 
mandant at Michelimakinac. Recognizing the braveness and 
the cleverness of the young de Lavalterie, M. de Frontenac 
gave him instructions to escort M. d'Ailieboust d' Argenteuil 
and his eighteen companions through the most dangerous pass- 
ages. M. de Lavaltrie had under his orders twenty volunteers 
and a certain number of savages from the Sault and from the 
mountain. The voyage out was accomplished successfully but 
on his return, in the first days of June, 1693, the escort was 
suddenly attacked by a large band of Iroquois who were hid- 
den on the shores of a rapid near the island of Montreal. M. 
de Lavaltrie and three of his companions were killed. The 
other members of the escort succeeded in escaping. 

3. Frangois-Marie Margane de Batilly. Born at Mon- 
treal, November 13, 1672. 

At the baptism of Frangois Marie Bissot de Vincennes at 
Montreal, June 17, 1700, he was called Frangois Margane, 
esquire, sieur de Batilly. He signed Batilly. 

January 2, 1694, the young de Batilly was made ensign in 
the troops of the detachment of the Marine. 

In the winter of 1703 and 1704 governor de Vaudreuil 
sent a party of 250 men against New England. He entrusted 
the command to M. Hertel de Rouville, half-pay lieutenant. 
This party ascended Lake Champlain and then Onion river. 
They followed first the Connecticut river as far as Deerfield 
which was the nearest settlement to Canada in this direction. 
This village was defended by some irregular fortifications 
and some redoubts which the snow covered. Deerfield had 
a garrison of twenty soldiers. M. de Rouville approached dur- 
ing the night of February 29. The patrols did not even sus- 
pect the presence of the enemy. Two hours before dawn the 
Canadians and their savage allies scaled the wall, penetrated 
the village and surprised the inhabitants in their sleep. They 
did not have time even to resist. The place was destroyed in 


a few moments. Forty-seven persons were killed and 112 
made prisoners. The village was reduced to ashes. The same 
morning M. de Rouville took the road for New France with 
his prisoners and his booty. The return journey lasted 25 
days during which the hardy Canadians and their prisoners 
had no other food than that which the hunt could provide 

M. de Rouville had lost only three Canadians and some 
savages. The ensign de Batilly was killed during this bold 
expedition. As M. de Vaudreuil relates in his account to the 
minister of the exploit of M. de Rouville against Deerneld, 
dated April 3, 1704. 

"We have lost Monsieur only three Frenchmen and some 
savages. Among these is Sr. de Batilly, ensign, a very brave 
man, the second of his family to have been killed in the serv- 
ice of the king. 

4. Genevieve M. de L., born at Montreal, July 12, 1675. 
Married at Montreal, January 3, 1696, Charles Le Gardeur de 
Lisle. Died at Montreal, November 30, 1702. 

5. Madeleine Louise, M. de L. Born at Lavaltrie, Novem- 
ber 27, 1676. Married at Montreal, December 11, 1698, Paul 
d' Ailleboust de Perigny, lieutenant in the troops of the de- 
tachment of the Marine. 

M. de Ailleboust died at Montreal February 3, 1745. Ma. 
dame d' Ailleboust survived her husband many years. May 
22, 1761, she entered in retreat among the gray Sisters at 

6. Pierre Margane des Forets et de Lavaltrie, the ances- 
tor of the present family. 

7. Barbe M. de L. Born at Lavaltrie in February 1681. 
Married at Montreal, November 27, 1719, to Etienne de Brage- 
longue, chevalier. 

8. Jean Baptiste M. de L. Born at Lavaltrie, November 
3, 1683. He still lived in 1725. 


9. Francois M. de L. Born at Lavaltrie September 9, 

It is he whom the American historians and most of the 
Canadian writers of history consider erroneously the founder 
of Indiana, making him usurp the glory and the merit of his 
cousin Frangois-Marie Bissot de Vincennes. 

About 1700 Augustin Le Garduer de Courtemanche, lieu- 
tenant in the troops of the detachment of the Marine, well 
known for his exploits in war and his bold journeys into the 
east made an exploration of the coast of Labrador. Fishing 
and hunting were so advantageous in this unknown region 
that he decided to settle there. He made his settlement near 
the river of the Eskimo. In order to hold the savages in awe 
he also built a little fort in which he intended to place some 
armed men in order to be prepared for whatever might happen. 

The young de Lavaltrie lover of adventures of the chase 
and of fishing followed his cousin M. Le Gardeur de Courte- 
manche to Labrador. He was put in command of the fort of 

In 1711 young de Lavaltrie had the honor to come to an- 
nounce to Governor Vaudreuil that the English had crossed 
the sea with a formidable fleet with the intention of laying 
siege to Quebec. Each summer, numerous vessels of the 
French and of strangers came to fish in the waters of Labrador. 
It was through one of these vessels that Minister Pontchar- 
train communicated this serious menace to M. de Courte- 

M. de Lavaltrie, in the month of October of the same year, 
announced to the population of Quebec the horrible shipwreck 
of many of the vessels of the proud Admiral Walker on the 
reef of Egg Island. The formal examination of M. de Laval- 
trie before the provost of Quebec gives us the gloomy details 
of this shipwreck which saved the colony. 

"Today, October 18, 1711, at three o'clock in the afternoon. 


before us, Paul Depuy, esquire, commissioner of the king and 
his particular civil and criminal lieutenant in the court of the 
provost and admiralty of Quebec, filling, by order of His 
Majesty, the function of lieutenant general in the chair, in our 
court, and in the presence of the king's prosecutor there ap- 
peared Frangois de Margane, Sr., de Lavaltrie, an officer serv- 
ing at Fort Pontchartrain in Labrador. The same, after hav- 
ing taken the oath before us in the usual manner to tell the 
truth, has said and declared that on the third of last August, 
he was sent from Fort Pontchartrain by M. de Courtemanche, 
commandant of the said place to M. de Marquis de Vaudreuil, 
governor general of this country, to advise him that this city 
was in danger of being besieged by the English enemies of the 
state, according to the advice which he had received from 
Monseignor, Count Pontchartrain, and that some days after 
his arrival in the said city the said governor general had 
ordered him to return to his post and that if the enemy ap- 
peared again to bring him news of them as soon as possible. 
He reported that on the 18th of last September he returned to 
Labrador in a canoe with two Frenchmen and a savage and 
that on the first of this month having arrived at Egg Island, 
which is seventy leagues away from this city, he perceived 
signs of a shipwreck which compelled him to land and get out 
on land where he found on the sand, four dead men, whom he 
recognized as English ; that he discovered, at the same time, a 
number of foot prints of men which he followed with his 
comrades for a space of two miles along which road they 
found only two good stranded ship-boats with seven or eight 
others which could be repaired. Returning to their canoe, 
they saw two men who were walking on the sand and whom 
they recognized by their speech, to be French. Having ap- 
proached them they knew them to belong to the crew of the 
ship of a man named Vital Caron. They were guarding the 
booty and picking up more, which consisted of coats, coverings. 


shirts, and other spoils which they showed to them and told 
them of the ship-wreck which had happened to the English 
fleet which was coming to besiege this city. Since they did not 
wish to go to the city, they had stayed at the place, declaring 
to him that they had seen seven English vessels on the point 
of land toward the northern coast near the said Egg Island, 
of which one was entirely broken up, two others half destroyed 
and three others driven to the coast of which one held with 
two anchors and the other which had three in her hull and 
the seventh vessel, which floated at sea, lay at anchor, which he 
believed was greater than any which are at present in the road 
stead of the village. The others were smaller, however, he 
estimated at about three or four hundred tonnage. The larg- 
est, which lay at anchor, was swept away from its first bridge. 
The iron frame work of those which were burned was on 
the shore. That, he believed that, of these vessels, only the 
largest one could be repaired. That they had seen, moreover, 
on the shore fifty to sixty dead bodies among whom there were 
about twenty women, some of whom had children at the breast. 
That they had also seen on the sand, horses, sheep, dogs, fowls, 
a quantity of pack saddles for the work horses, three or four 
hundred great casks encircled with iron. They did not know if 
they were filled. Many wheel barrows, even a hogshead of 
wine, a keg and a half of brandy of which they had declared 
they had drunk several times with the said two men of the 
said Caron-. That there were also on the shore, ropes, anchors, 
sail, planks, joists of oak, hides, pikes, pick axes, oaken planks, 
hinges and scrap iron of which they had seen heaps three feet 
in height and which the said two men told him, that the said 
Vital Caron had taken away two wagon loads of booty, which 
he had taken with him to the Seven Islands to divide among 
the men of his crew made up of twenty-five men, and that one 
of these had found twenty white sous in the pocket of one of 
the ship-wrecked and another a gold watch. That all these 


things and his duty had made him give up his voyage and the 
profit which he could have made by doing as these others had 
done by taking the wreckage of this ship in order to come to 
this city to bring the news of it and to make his declaration of 
it, which he had done as quickly as possible, arriving in fifteen 
days in spite of the bad weather which he had during his voy- 
age, which is all that he had to say. Demanding, moreover, 
that there be accorded to him the rights that belong to an in- 
former he had signed the original with us on the day and the 
year above mentioned. So signed to the said original Margane 
de Lavaltrie, Lespinay, Dupuy, and Rivet Greffier, the under- 

May 9, 1712, M. de Lavaltrie married at Beauport, Angeli- 
que Guyon-Despres, daughter of Francois Guyon-Despres, and 
of Madeleine Marsolet. 

Before he had even settled on his seigniory of Beauport, 
Robert Giffard on March 14, 1634, created an arriere-fief in 
favor of one his compartiots, Jean Guyon. Giffard and Guyon 
were Percherons, but le Perche is next to Normandy. In eight 
years MM. Giffard and Guyon had six law suits concerning this 
arriere-fief. By his marriage with the grand daughter of Jean 
Guyon, M. de Lavaltrie became one of the proprietors of the 
arriere-fief Du Buisson. A veritable fatality was attached to 
this property. He was obliged to carry on three or four law 
suits to protect the little part of the seigniorial property which 
his marriage had brought him. 

Sept. 19, 1713, M. de Lavaltrie associated himself with 
Bernard de Plaine to make a voyage to Cape Breton where M. 
de Plaine had some property. The partners intended to carry 
on there trading, fishing, and hunting. Since each partner had 
furnished an unequal amount of merchandise it was under- 
stood that he who had furnished the most, should take out in 

♦Archives du Canada, Correspondence generate, vol. F. 32, p. 171. 


skins at the current price, the proportion which he had ad- 
vanced. What was left should be divided half and half. 

The partnership between M. de Lavaltrie and M. de Plaine 
did not last long. Labrador with its inslands abounding in 
game, its rivers full of fish attracted him. He soon returned 
there. Only instead of being under the order of M. de Court- 
emanche he fished and traded with the savages on his own ac- 
count with the assistance of two or three hired men. 

M. de Lavaltrie had no concession in Labrador. The coun- 
try was large, the rivers numerous so that MM. de Courte- 
manche and Lavaltrie could easy carry on his exploits without 
annoying the other. As long as M. de Courtemanche lived 
there was no difficulty in this matter. 

In June, 1717, M. de Courtemanche died at his estate on 
Phelippeaux Bay. Sieur de Brouage, the son of the first mar- 
riage of his wife, succeeded M. de Courtemanche as command- 
ant of the post of Labrador. Young, ardent, jealous of his 
rights, he did not tarry to find that the coast of Labrador, in 
spite of its immensity, was too confined for him and M. de 

Sept. 9, 1718, he complained of M. de Lavaltrie to the con- 
sul of the Marines. This complaint is found in the Archives 
du Canada. Correspondance Generale. 

The following year, Sept. 6, 1719, M. de Brouage put in 
another complaint against M. de Lavaltrie. 

M. de Lavaltrie who saw that M. de Brouage would suc- 
ceed in driving him from Labrador if he did not attain a con- 
cession addressed himself to MM. de Vaudreuil and Begon. 
They presented his demand to the minister. May 25, 1719, 
the minister replied favorably to the governor and the intend- 
ant. However, the consul of the Marines did not take up the 
demands of M. de Lavaltrie until January 23, 1720. 

Finally, May 26, 1720, the king signed the following con- 


cession in favor of M. de Lavaltrie: "Today, May 26, 1720, 
the king, being at Paris, having heard favorably the demand 
which has been made of him by the Sr. de Lavaltrie for a 
grant of land on the coast of Labrador, to establish there still 
fishing for cod and for seal, his Majesty on the advice of M. 
the duke d'Orleans, regent, has granted to him the harbor called 
the St. Augustine River, on the coast of Labrador with two 
miles of frontage on each side by four miles of depth inland 
as well as the islands and the smaller islands adjacent to the 
said harbor to be possessed by him during his life. On con- 
dition that he will make the concession valuable by fisheries. 
His Majesty wishes and intends that he alone shall have, in the 
harbor and in the two miles granted to him as well as in the 
adjacent islands, the right to fish for seal and other fish. He 
is to do it with the vessels which shall come to the said harbor 
and to the land and islands granted by the present brevet, which 
allows him to trade with the savages who may be found on the 
coast of Labrador, without being held bound to pay to his 
Majesty or to succeeding kings any sum of money or indem- 
nity. His Majesty has made him a gift by the present brevet 
which shall be registered with the superior council of Quebec 
and any other places where it is necessary. His Majesty in 
witness of his desire wishes to sign with his own hand this 
title counter-signed by me, secretary of state, and of his com- 
mand and finances. 



M. de Brouage, who did not know that M. de Lavaltrie had 
obtained a concession from the king, complained bitterly of 
him to the minister in 1720. 

Oct. 22, 1720, Governor de Vaudreuii wrote to the minister : 
"Concerning the complaints which Madame de Conrtemanche 

^Insinuations du Conseil Superieur. cafcier 5. 


and her son made to me last year against Sr. de Lavaltrie I took 
pains to explain to him when I wrote to him last spring that 
it depended on the command which Seignior Brouage had over 
ail the coast of Labrador and that, being under his order, he 
ought to have for him the regard due to his rank. That, more- 
over, he ought to do everything that he could to live on good 
terms with the said Sr. Brouage and with the lady of Courte- 
manche, who is his first cousin, since they are children of two 
sisters. Then I ordered him to leave home as soon as he re- 
ceived my letter to go and pay his respects to the said Sr. de 
Brouage and his mother. To report to them what he had 
taken in the boat which they had sent to him and to ask of them 
their friendship. The said Sr. de Lavaltrie advised me by his 
reply of July 17 that he was about to do promptly all that I 
had ordered him. I hope that in the future no more com- 
plaints from that quarter will come to the council. At least 
that Madame de Courtemanche will not continue in the bad 
humor on account of the jealousy, which she seems to have 
that others beside herself should settle on a coast, which she 
believes she ought to possess by herself. Being certain that 
there is nothing but this jealousy which can keep up in her, the 
bitterness which she shows against Sr. de Lavaltrie because 
he attracts the savages to him. But on the contrary she has 
treated him with much unkindness, not only in refusing him 
the assistance of powder, bullets and biscuit of which he had 
extreme need, but also in making her son forbid the captains 
who were fishing along this coast to furnish St. Malo any." 

In 1725, M. de Lavaltrie, Zacharie Turgeon and Charles 
Turgeon, his son, both residents of Beaumont, and Joseph 
Filteau, resident of the isle of Orleans, formed a partnership 
to cultivate by thirds the post of St. Augustine. Turgeon was 
to furnish his boat called the Saint-Etienne of about twenty 
tons and he was to have a third of the profits and a third 


share of the expenses for three consecutive years. Sept. 6, 
1726, the partnership was dissolved, the Turgeons, father and 
son, retired on account of their share in the profits. The ship, 
the Saint-Etienne, remained the property of M. de Lavaltrie 
and Joseph Filteau, who continued together the exploitation of 
the post of St. Augustine.* 

On the death of his mother, March 1, 1733, M. de Lavaltrie 
had inherited certain rights in the seigniory of Lavaltrie. Nov. 
3, 1733, M. de Lavaltrie sold to his eldest brother, Pierre Mar- 
gane de Lavaltrie, officer in the troops of the detachment of 
the Marine, "His right of succession, mobile and immobile, 
fruits and revenues, which he could have in the succession of 
the late M. Seraphin Margane de Lavaltrie as well as in that of 
the lady Louise Bissot, their father and mother, for the sum 
of 2,200 livres/'f 

The Seigniors under the French regime were often as poor 
as their tenants. It was not until four years later that the Sr. 
de Lavaltrie was able to pay oft his debt of 2,200 livres to his 

Sept. 11, 1737, M. de Lavaltrie farmed out his post on the 
River St. Augustine, on the coast of Labrador, for the time and 
space of three years to Michel Petrimoulx, Charles Cheron and 
Nicolas Cheron, the elder, all of Quebec. The three partners 
were to carry on the business of fishing for seal of trading 
with the savages, of hunting, etc., etc., in the place of M. de 
Lavaltrie. This lease was made for the sum of 250 livres a 
year. The partners paid their first year's rent in advance. 

In 1739, a sad event changed the destiny of M. de Lavaltrie. 
On the 29th of December his wife, Angelique Guyon-Despres, 
died at Beauport at the age of fifty-five years. She had given 
him a son, Louis-Francois Margane de Lavaltrie, born at Beau- 

*Acte de Lonet, September 6, 1726. 
tActe de Adhemar, November 3, 1733. 


port, Jan. 28, 1713. Eleven months before the death of his 
mother, on Jan. 22, 1739, at St. Thomas, young de Lavaltrie 
had married Marie-Anne Couillard. Left alone in his home, 
M. de Lavaltrie decided to become a priest. During the 1740 
and 1741 he was busy arranging all his affairs and disposing 
of his interests. 

Dec. 9, 1741, M. de Lavaltrie rented, from Sept. 1, 1742, to 
the same day of 1748, his estate commonly called St. Augus- 
tine, on the coast of Labrador, to Jean Baptiste Pommereau, 
lawyer of Quebec. M. Pommereau was to have possession dur- 
ing his lease of all the privileges granted to M. de Lavaltrie 
by the act of concession of May 26, 1720. This lease was 
made for the sum of 250 livres a year. It was understood be- 
tween M. de Lavaltrie and M. Pommereau that at the end of 
this lease M. de Lavaltrie could not rent it to anyone without 
giving the preference to M. Pommereau. 

His affairs in order, M. de Lavaltrie entered the high 
seminary of Quebec. He must have completed an excellent 
course of study for he received all the orders in less than two 
years. Pie was ordained priest by Mgr. de Pontbriand Sept. 
22 , 1742. 

M. de Lavaltrie continued to reside in the seminary of 
Quebec assisting the cure of Quebec in the functions of Holy 
Minister. In Jan., 1746, Mgr. de Pontbriand appointed M. de 
Lavaltrie cure of the parish of Cape St. Ignace. Raised to the 
priesthood, when he was fifty-eight years old, sick and worn 
out, M. de Lavaltrie was not in condition to assume the duties 
of a Holy Minister in the country. In Sept., 1747, he returned 
to the seminary at Quebec. Mgr. de Pontbriand made him 
priest of l'Hotel Dieu at Quebec though he lived at the semi- 

M. de Lavaltrie died at the Hotel Dieu at Quebec, March 
6, 1750, and was buried the next day in the cemetery of this 
hospital. It is said in his act of burial that he died "fortified 


by the sacriments of the church and after having suffered with 
patience the pain of a long sickness and having given every- 
one an example of great virtue." 

A word concerning the son of M. de LavaJtrie. We have 
been able to find neither the place nor the date of his death. 
All that we can assert is that he died between Dec, 1743, and 
Aug., 1744. His widow remarried at Beauport, July 3, 1747, 
Louis Fournier des Carrieres, cadet in the company de la 
Martiniere in the troop of the detachment of the Marine. 

By her marriage with M. de Lavaltrie she had had four 

1. Louis Francois Margane de Lavaltrie. Born at Beau- 
port, April 6, 1740. In 1766 he was an officer in the troops 
of Louisiana. 

2. Marie-Louise-Michelle M. de L. Born at Beauport, 
Sept. 19, 1741. Died at Quebec, May 17, 1784. 

3. Marie- Anne M. de L. Born at Beauport, Sept. 19, 
1742. Died at Quebec, Oct. 16, 1797. 

4. Angelique M. de L. Born at Beauport, Aug. 27, 1744. 
Died at St. Thomas, Jan. 4, 1768. 

10. Catherine-Alphonsine M. de L. Born at Montreal, 
March II, 1690. Died Aug. 17, 1690. 

11. Louise-Marguerite M. de L. Born at Montreal, Dec. 5, 
1691. Married at Quebec, Oct. 28, 1713, to Claude-Charles Dn 
Tisne, ensign of a company of the troops of, the detachment 
of the Marine. 

M. du Tisne, originally from Paris, of the parish St. Ger- 
maine d' Auxerre, came to New France in the beginning of the 
18th century. In 1714 he obtained permission to serve in the 
troops of Louisiana. In 1722 he received the command of a 
company and the following year the king gave him the com- 
mand of a post among the Illinois. He died among the Illinois 
in 1730. 


One of the sons of M. du Tisne was burned by the Chicka- 
saws, March 25, 1736, at the same time of M. de Vincennes. 



He was born at Lavaltrie in 1679. He was admitted at the 
age of fifteen or sixteen years as petty officer in the troops of 
the detachment of the Marine. 

Nov. 17, 1704, M. de Vaudreuil and Beauharnois wrote to 
the minister: "A Sr. de Batilly, ensign, who distinguished 
himself greatly in the party which Sr. de Vaudreuil sent this 
winter against the English having been killed there we propose 
to you Sr. de Forets, who has been a petty officer for a long 
time, to fill the position of his brother, who is the second of the 
family killed in the service of the king. He is a very good sub- 
ject who deserves the honor of your protection. Both of them 
are children of an ancient captain in the troops of this country 
after having been in Carignan's regiment." 

We must believe that the minister had many others to ad- 
vance in rank before M. de Forets, since it was not until eight 
years later that he was promoted ensign. His commission is 
dated June 21, 1712. He is still designated under the name of 
M. des Forets. 

In 1721 M. des Forets, or rather M. de Lavaltrie, for he 
had taken the name of his father in the interval, rose in rank. 
He was made Lieutenant. The delay had this time been nine 
years. M. de Lavaltrie, certainly took part in some of the cam- 
paigns of the troops of the Marine during the period between 
1712 and 1721, but we can find no mention of it. 

May 12, 1739, M. de Lavaltrie received the command of a 
company. 1 

i Rapport sur les archives Canadiennes for 1904. p. 261. 


Aug. 12, 1746, M. de Lavaltrie assisted, at the Chateau St. 
Louis at Quebec, at an important convention of the principle 
officers of the colony, military as well as civil, and of the resi- 
dents of Quebec. It was necessary to make a decision con- 
cerning the importance of continuing or not the fortifications of 
Quebec. Minister Maurepas was of the opinion that these 
works were not necessary and that if they were undertaken it 
should be at the expense of the residents of Quebec. Opinion 
differed much. Most of the civil officers and of the mer- 
chants pronounced themselves in favor of the destruction of 
the work already begun. Some of them were in favor of sus- 
pending the work until a new order from His Majesty. Finally 
the majority was in favor of continuing the work. M. de 
Lavaltrie was among this number. 

In the month of Aug., 1746, M. de Rigaud received from 
Gov. Beauharnois the command of a party of Canadians and 
Indians, who were to make a sally into New England covering 
Fort St. Frederic. He had under his orders 600 Canadians 
and 300 savages. Among his officers were Captain de Laval- 
trie. An account of this expedition may be found in the Arch- 
ives of Canada, Correspondance Generale. 

M. de Lavaltrie was among the number of the officers of 
this expedition recommended as the most worthy of promotion 
and of the cross of St. Louis, which he received May 23, 1749. 

In 1751, M. de Lavaltrie was at Fort Frontenac with M. de 

By a letter from M. de Longueuil to M. de Rouille, April 
21, 1752, we discover that M. de Lavaltrie was then command- 
ant at Fort Niagara. M. de Celeron, commander at Detroit. 
had sent M. de Lavaltrie important dispatches begging him to 
have a soldier earn- them to Fort Rouille (Toronto) whence 
they would be sent on to Montreal. This soldier disappeared. 

♦L'abbe Auguste Gosselin, Le Fondateur De la Presentation: 
L'abbe Picquet, p. 21. 

124 Sjeur de Vincennes Identified 

He had probably been killed by the Indians. M. de Lavaltrie 
took much trouble to find the dispatches of M. de Celleron fear- 
ing that they had fallen into the hands of the English. 

On Oct. 1, 1755, M. de Vaudreuil, governor of New France, 
held a conference at Montreal with twenty ambassadors from 
the Tsonnontouans. M. de Lavaltrie was among the officers 
who assisted at this conference. The principle orator was the 
chief Gaiachoton who presented several wampum belts to the 
governor. M. de Joncaire who had been adopted by the tribe 
was their interpreter. The savage etiquette demanded a cer- 
tain delay between the presentation of the wampum belts and 
the reply of the governor. On Oct. 3 the Indian ambassadors 
received again M. de Vaudreuil and the officers who had as- 
sisted at the former conference.* 

Dec. 13, 1756, there was held a new conference again at 
Montreal between M. de Vaudreuil and 100 ambassadors from 
various Indian tribes. 

M. de Vaudreuil in order to dazzle these important person- 
ages surrounded himself with a brilliant staff. M. de Laval- 
trie assisted at this conference also. The chiefs of the Iro- 
quois of Sault Saint-Louis and of the Lake of the Two Moun- 
tains were also present. The speeches were numerous and 
long. M. Perthuis, who spoke Iroquois, as if it were his own 
tongue, was the orator on this occasion. 

In August, 1757, M. de Lavaltrie took part in the siege of 
Fort William Henry situated at the lower end of Lake Saint- 
Sacrament (today Lake George). The French and Canadian 
troops were commanded by MM. de Montcalm and de Levis. 
They accomplished prodigies of valor. The Indians also fought 
valiantly. Colonel Monroe, commander of Fort William 
Henry, capitulated Aug. 9, 1757, after having put up an in- 
trepid defense for nine days. 

*E-B O'Callaglian, Documents relative to the history of the State 
of New York, vol. X, p. 345. 


This glorious victory was, however, sullied by the massacre 
which the allied savages inflicted upon the English prisoners of 
war. There was, it would seem, imprudence on both sides. On 
the French side not enough precaution was taken to protect 
the English from the attacks of the savages. On the English 
side the inconceivable imprudence was committed of giving rum 
in abundance to the savages. 

The following year on July 8, M. de Lavaltrie took part in 
the glorious battle of Carillon, which was the fruit of the mil- 
itary genius of Montcalm and of the valor of his troops. 

Jan. 26, 1759, the king granted a pension of 400 livres to 
M. de Lavaltrie. 

From a letter from M. de Vaudreuil to Minister Berryer of 
March 30, 1759, we see that M. de Lavaltrie passed the winter 
of 1758 and 1759 near Fort Duquesne, watching the movements 
of the English, with a certain number of Canadians and of 

In a general table of the officers of the Marine serving- in 
Canada, prepared in 1759 or in 1760 one reads : 

"Lavaltrie Desforets infantry ensign in 1712, lieutenant in 
1721 Captain in 1739." 

In a postscript list of the officers of the troops of the de- 
tachment of the Marine prepared in 1761 or 1762 one reads 
concerning M. de Lavaltrie : "Rich, an honest man, a widower, 
out of condition to serve. Has remained in Canada." 

M. de Lavaltrie did not survive long the change of regime. 
He died at Montreal Jan. 1, 1766. 

He had married at Montreal Oct. 14, 1732, Louise-Charlotte 
d'Aillehoust d'Argenteuil. Of their marriage were born four 

1. Louise- Jeanne M. de L. Born at Montreal, Aug. 8, 
1733. Died Dec. 27, 1822, and was buried at Lavaltrie the 30 
of the same month. 


2. Marguerite-Charlotte M. de L. Born at Montreal Feb. 
28, 1735. Died in the same place June 7, 1735. 

3. Marguerite-Charlotte-Stanislas M. de L. Born at Mon- 
treal Nov. 13, 1739. Died at St Laurent April 29, 1749. 

4. Pierre-Paul M. de L. Born at Montreal Aug. 14, 1743. 
The continuer of the line. 

Pierre-Paul Margane de Lavaltrie. 

He entered in the troops of the detachment of the Marine 
when he was thirteen years old. In 1759 when he was hardly 
sixteen years old, he fought bravely against the English. After 
the fall of Quebec and the capitulation of Montreal he went 
to France in order to continue to serve in the French army. In 
1765 he returned to this country, at the request of his father, 
who was then eighty-seven years old and whose only son he 
was, to whom he wished to leave his seigniory. 

In 1775 faithful to the new masters of the country M. de 
Lavaltrie took up arms to fight against the American troops 
who had invaded the Canadian territory, and was on the list 
of officers named in order of merit because they had shown 
themselves to be good subjects. 

In 1791 England granted us a new constitution. The anci- 
ent province of Quebec was divided into two provinces, Upper 
Canada and Lower Canada. Each one having a legislative 
council and a chamber of the Assembly. The province of 
Lower Canada was divided into twenty-one counties. 

At the election of deputies to the new chamber in the sum- 
mer of 1792, M. de Lavaltrie was chosen deputy of the county 
of Warwick in which his seigniory was located. He kept his 
seat to the end of the first parliament, until May, 1796. 

M. de Lavaltrie died at his seigniory at Lavaltrie, Sept. 10, 
1810. He was buried two days later in the church of Lavaltrie 
ander the seigniorial pew at the right hand side of the altar. 


M. de Lavaltrie married at Terre Bonne, March 31, 1766, 
Marie-Angelique de La Corne de Chapt. She died at Lavaltrie 
Feb. 26, 1815, and was buried the next day in the parish 
church. Only one child was born of their marriage. Suzanne 
Antoinette, who married Charles Gaspard Tarieu de Lanaud- 
iere. Madame Tarieu de Lanaudiere died at Lavaltrie, April 
22, 1822, and was buried in the parish church under the chapel 
of the Holy Virgin. With her death disappeared the last mem- 
ber of the family of Lavaltrie, who had played so wonderful 
a role in our country for a century and a half. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY of the works which have spoken of the 
BISSOTS de VlNCENNES, particularly of FRANCOIS- 

Alerding, History of the Catholic Church, Diocese' of V'm~ 
cennes, p. 54. 

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biographies, vol. VI, 
p. 298. 

Bancroft, History of the United States, vol. Ill, p. 367. 

Bibaud, Dictionnaire Historique des Homntes lllustres du 
Canada, 1st edition, p. 342; 2d edition, p. 313. 

Bouchette, Description Topographique de la Province du 
B as-Canada, pp. 523, 525. 

Brice, History of Fort Wayne, p. 12. 

Bryan, Indiana's First Settlement, Clark's Important Con- 
quest of Post Vincennes, in The Magazine of American His- 
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Cauthorn, Brief Sketch of Vincennes, pp. 17, 25. 

Charlevoix, History de la Nouvelle-France, vol. 11, p. 502. 

Craig, Ouiatanon, A Study in Indiana History, p. 16. 

Dillon, History of Indiana, edition of 1843, p. 61 ; edition 
1859, p. 402. 


Dunn, The Mission to the Oubache, In Ind. Hist. Soc. 
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Dunn, The Founding of Post Vincennes, in The Magazine 
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Dunn, Who Was Sieur de Vincennes? in Indiana Maga- 
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Eschmann, Kaskaskia Church Records in Transactions of 
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Faul, Memorable Days in America Being the Journal of 
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Ferland, Notes Sur Les Registres de Notre-Dame de Que- 
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Ferland, Cours D'Histoire du Canada, vol 1 1 , p. 468. 

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Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, vol. 1, p. 333. 

Judgments et Deliberations du Conseeil Souverain de la 
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p. 189. 

Langdon, The Pageant of Indiana. 

Law, Address Before the Vincennes Historical and Anti- 
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Law, Colonial History of Vincennes, p. 121. 

Lav/, Jesuit Missionaries in the Northwest, in Wisconsin 
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Mallet, Very Revd. Pierre Gibault, in The Washington 
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Mallet, Sieur de Vincennes, the Founder of Indiana's Old- 
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Mallet, Le Sieur de Vincennes, Fondateur de L'Iniana. 

Margry, Louis JoJUliet, in Revue Canadienne, vol. IX, 
p. 219. 


Margry, Memories et Documents Pour Servir a U Histoire 
des Origines Francoises des Pays D'Outre-Mer, vol. 657, 658. 

Mason, Kaskaskia and Its Parish Records, in The Maga- 
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Mason, Kaskaskia and Its Parish Records, in Michigan 
Pioneer Collections, vol. 5, p. 104. 

O'Caliaghan, Documents Relative to the Colonial History 
of the State of New York, vol. IX, pp. 676, 759, 760, 761, 763, 
766, 777, 778, 894, 931. 

Poussin, De la Puissance Americaine, vol. 1, p. 183. 

Rameau, Acadiem et Canadiens, p. 286. 

Rawston, The Old Post. 

Roy, Francois Bissot, Sieur de la Riviere, in Memoir es et 
Compte Rendus de la Societe Royale dl Canada, 1st series, 
vol. X, p. 29. 

Roy, Histoire de la S eigne urie de Lauzon, vol. 1, pp. 49, 
174, 228, 234, 239. 

Schmitt, The Records of the Parish of St-Francis-Xavier 
at Post Vincennes, Ind., Translated from the French, in 
Records of the American Catholic Historical Society, vol. XII, 
pp. 41, 193, 322. 

Shea, Magazine of American History, vol. IV, p. 255. 

Shea, Charlevoix's History of New France, vol. VI, p. 122. 

Shea, Netv York Freeman's Journal, Jan. 26, 1884. 

Shea, The Catholic News, Sept. 10, 1890. 

Spalding, Life of Bishop Flaget, p. 39. 

Suite, Histoire des Canadiens Francois, vol. Ill, p. 11 ; vol. 
IV, p. 94; vol. VI, 119; vol. VIII, p. 51. 

Tanguay, Dictionnaire Genealogique des FamiHes Cana- 
diennes, vol. 1, p. 56; vol. 11, p. 299. 

Thomas. Travels Through the Western Country, p. 190. 


Thwaites, The Jesiiit Relations and Allied Documents, vol. 
LXX, p. 316. 

Tuttle, History of Indiana, p. 316. 

Wallace, The History of Illinois and Louisiana Under the 
French Rule, p. 302. 


Reminiscences of the Early Marion County Bar 
By William Watson Woollen. 

The Constitution of Indiana of 1816 provided that the 
Judiciary of the State should be vested in a Supreme Court, 
Circuit Courts, and such other inferior Courts as the General 
Assembly might from time to time direct and establish. It 
was also provided that the Circuit Courts of the State should 
consist of a President Judge and two Associate Judges, com- 
monly known as "Side Judges." These Courts were to be 
known and styled by the name of the County in which each 
of them were held. The President Judges were to be elected 
by the joint ballot of both houses of the General Assembly 
for a term of seven years "if during so long they behaved 
well." They each were to receive eight hundred dollars an- 
nually, payable quarterly out of any moneys in the treasury 
belonging to the general fund of the State. The Associate 
Judges were to be elected by the qualified electors of their 
respective Counties for a term of seven years, and receive for 
their services, two dollars per day. while attending Court in 
that capacity, to be paid by the Counties in which they resided 
upon the certificate of the Clerk of the Court as to the num- 
ber of days in attendance. 

Under these Constitutional provisions., the State by the 
Revised Statutes of 1843. was divided into twelve Circuits. 
Prior to 1852. the Fifth Tudicial Circuit was composed of 

186 Marion County Bar 

Hancock, Shelby, Bartholomew, Johnson, Marion, Hendricks, 
Morgan, Madison, Hamilton and Grant Counties. The Hon. 
William Watson Wick, after whom I was named, was the 
President Judge of the Circuit, and Daniel R. Smith and 
Samuel Cory were the Associate Judges of the Marion Circuit 

Judge Wick was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Feb- 
ruary 23rd, 1796. At the age of fifty-two he said of himself 
in an autobiographic letter, "I am fair; a little fat, having 
increased since 1833 from 146 to 214 pounds — six feet and one 
inch high, good complexion, portly — have been called the best 
looking man about town — but that was ten years ago — not to 
be sneezed at now — a little gray." He taught school in early 
life, and studied medicine first and then law ; he then read 
chemistry principally by the light of log-heaps in a clearing. 
He settled as a lawyer in Connersville in December, 1819. 
In January, 1822, he was chosen Judge of the Circuit Court 
and moved to Indianapolis where he resided until 1860, when 
he moved to Franklin and lived with his daughter. He held 
many offices, concerning which he said : "Wick has committed 
much folly in his time — the principal of which has been hold- 
ing offices, writing rhymes, playing cards for money, and 
paying other people's debts." He was joint author with 
Lucian Barbour in 1846 of "A Manual for Justices and Con- 
stables" under the Revised Statutes of 1843. It was well 
known, however, that Mr. Barbour did the principal part of 
the work, for Judge Wick did not like to work. He was an 
able lawyer and as a Judge presided with much dignity, and 
I think acceptably to the bar. In my boyish imagination, I 
thought he was the most wonderful man that I had ever seen, 
and it was this that made me conceive the idea of becoming a 
lawyer. Like poor Yorick, Judge Wick was "A fellow of 

Marion County Bar 187 

infinite jest, of most excellent fancy." A member of the bar 
with a very "shady" character died, and a bar meeting was 
held. Many fulsome eulogies were pronounced by various 
members of the bar concerning the life of the deceased. The 
presiding officer said : "I see Judge Wick is present, perhaps 
he has something to say." Wick arose and with much gravity 
said: "Gentlemen, I know myself better than anybody else, 
and when I die, I desire that no bar meeting be held," and 
with this implied rebuke he sat down. Based upon the three 
w's in his name he often said that when he died, his epitaph 
ought to be : 

"Here lies double-you, double-you, double-you 

Who ne'er again will trouble-you,trouble-you, trouble-you." 

He died May 19th, 1868, and was buried in the Franklin 
Cemetery. W r illiam Wesley Woollen, in his sketch of Judge 
W'ick says : "His grave is without even a head-stone to mark 
it. It is several inches lower than the cemetery's level, other- 
wise there would be nothing to show that the ground where 
his ashes lie was ever disturbed. * * * On either side 
are monuments commemorating the virtues of those who 
exercised but little influence upon their kind, and whom the 
State's history will never mention. Amid such surroundings 
is the final resting place of the genial pioneer with nothing to 
mark it save an indentation in the ground. * * * Stand- 
ing by it a thoughtful man must realize the instability of 
worldly honor and human greatness. Alas, how transient and 
fleeting they are !" 

Judge Smith by trade was a tailor, and by occupation a 
farmer. At that time and until his death he resided on his 
farm northeast of Millersville. After the expiration of his 
term of office, he gave some attention to the practice of law. 

INS Marion Coi st\ Bar 

Judge Cory was a School teacher by profession and a fanner 

by occupation, and resided on his farm adjoining to thai of 
my father in Lawrence Township. It was during that period 
of time that I first became acquainted with the Circuit Court 
of this County and some members of it- bar. Thai acquaint- 
ance was brought about in this manner. The "Big Knur" rail- 
road then had not been built, nor were carriages and buggies 
in use in our pari of the country. We traveled from place 
to place in "jolt wagons" and on horseback. Judge Cory came 
to Court on Monday morning and returned home Saturday 
afternoon on a gray mare with me behind him — it being my 
part of the job to take the marc home on Monday and bring 
her to him <>n Saturday. 

The Court Mouse of that early day — the firsl huilt in this 
County — was huilt by the Stale and County for joint use, 
and located in the center of the Court House Mjuare, with the 
front facing to the South. It was huilt of hrick, trimmed with 
dressed stone, two stories high, and in size, finish and outride 
appearance, very much resembled the residence of Dr. George 
W. Mears, which is still standing on North Meridian street, 
next north of the Blacherne. except that the roof was steeper, 
and the front steps without a portico, were longer. The 
entrance was ornate. It had two large fire-places for the 
burning of wood — one in the east and one in the west side of 
the building. The rostrum and court desk was on the north 
side of the building, with the Clerk's desk immediately in 
front and fronting the tables arranged for the use of members 
of the bar. 

The practice of law prior to the adoption of the Code of 
1852, was very different to what it has been since. Circuit 
Courts then were not governed by a Statutory Code. They 
had jurisdiction in common law, equity and criminal cases, and 

Marion County Bar 189 

separate dockets were kept for each of these divisions. An 
attorney had to know to which of these divisions his cause 
properly belonged, and have it docketed accordingly. Lawyers 
then were not "case lawyers." Their knowledge of the prin- 
ciples of law had to be obtained from the text books and 
English Common Law and Chancery Reports, and not from 
the reports of the Indiana Supreme Court. The first session 
of that Court was held at Corydon, in December, 1816. No 
reports of its decisions were published until fourteen years 
after, the first volume of Blackford having been published in 
1830. The adjudications of that Court for the first thirty-six 
years of its existence were embraced in the eight irregularly 
issued volumes of Blackford. These learned reports with a 
national and international reputation, may be said to contain 
the basis of the jurisprudence of this state — "The Common 
Law of Indiana." The practice that maintained during those 
thirty-six years was different to that which maintains now. 
Demurrers and motions were not presented by briefs but by 
the forensic efforts in open Court of the members of the bar. 
This was calculated to, and did make great, ready and learned 
lawyers — the peers of any in the United States. Among those 
of this class practicing at the Marion County bar, were: 
James Morrison, Oliver H. Smith, Ovid Butler, Calvin 
Fletcher, Simon Yandes, Lucian Barbour, John D. Howland, 
Philip Sweetzer, Jonathan A. Liston, David Macy, John H. 
Bradley, Hiram Brown, William Quarles, Hugh O'Neal, 
Abraham A. Hammond, Robert L. Walpole, John L. Ketcham, 
Horatio C. Newcomb, Jonathan S. Harvey, Albert G. Porter, 
John B. Dillon and John Caven. On this occasion, my remarks 
must of necessity, be limited, and confined to only a few of 
the men mentioned. 

Of this retinue of distinguished men it can truthfully be 

190 Marion County Bar 

said that James Morrison was the Nestor of the bar. He 
was a Scotchman, and he and his brother, William, were two 
of the tallest, most erect and best dressed gentlemen in Indian- 
apolis. He resided at the junction of Fort Wayne and Central 
Avenues, in a modest two-story brick house located on a 
quarter of a square with a very large and beautiful flower- 
garden to the north of it. His wife was a great lover of 
flowers, and the genius who developed the garden. He walked 
to and from his office and was very regular in his habits. He 
was very temperate except that he smoked almost incessantly 
in and out of Court. He was a strict Episcopalian, somewhat 
aristocratic ; socially he was somewhat exclusive. His ideals 
were of the highest order; he was sensitive, and the embodi- 
ment of integrity and honesty. In his later years he was 
very nervous, shaky and irritable, due perhaps to his excessive 
smoking. Judge Tarkington, in "Bricks from the Old Court 
House" tells this story about a tilt that Mr. Morrison had in 
Court with Mr. Simon Yandes. Yandes was turning to take 
his seat after an earnest argument with Morrison and said 
something in a low tone. Morrison belligerently faced Yandes 
and in an excited tone said: "What! What's that you say? 
I don't allow any man to call me a rascally old Scotchman." 
Yandes straightening up to his six feet two resentfully 
exclaimed : "I did not say you are a rascally old Scotchman, 
I said you are a raspy old Scotchman." "Very well, sir," 
responded Morrison, calming down, "I accept your apology, 
but please do not repeat it." With all, he was profoundly 
learned in the law and in addressing a Court, was one of the 
very ablest of advocates. 

Oliver H. Smith was the leader and biographer of the bar. 
He was born December 23rd, 1794, on Smith's Island, near 
Trenton, New Jersey. He came to Indiana in 1817, was 

Marion County Bar 191 

licensed to practice law in March, 1820, and in 1839 became 
a citizen of Indianapolis. I knew him best as a neighbor of 
my grandfather. He owned and resided on the northwest 
quarter of the square where the Interurban Station is now 
located, and lived in Jhe most pretentious house in the city, 
built in the center of the lot, of brick, trimmed with stone. 
My grandfather, a farmer, lived in a modest one-story wooden 
cottage on the corner lot diagonally across the street where 
now stands the Hotel Metropole. Smith was an ambitious 
man and a good neighbor. He was five feet ten inches high, 
broad-shouldered and weighed about one hundred and 
eighty pounds. His eyes were dark, his hair, which stood 
erect on his head, was black. He had large shaggy eyebrows, 
and the general outline of his features denoted energy, pluck 
and endurance. He was a diligent student and truly a great 
lawyer. He was the author of "Early Indiana Trials and 
Sketches." In this he says that good common sense is the 
foundation upon which the superstructure of an education 
for a lawyer must rest. "The student should have a good, 
sound English education ; he should spell well, read well, and 
write well, and understand the principles of arithmetic and 
English grammar." He adds: "A fine looking young man 
called upon me one day, desiring to study law with me. I 
inquired of him as to his education. He answered, 1 am a 
graduate of an Eastern College; I understand Latin, Greek 
and Hebrew ; I stood No. 2 in a large class of graduates.' I 
said, 'Do you spell well ?' He answered, T presume so, but I 
never thought much of that.' I said, 'Spell balance.' He 
spelled it 'ballance.' I said, 'That won't do. Do you read 
well ?' He answered, 'Certainly.' Then read this. He read, 
'My name is Nforval on the Grampian hills.' I said, 'What 
was his name off the Grampian hills? Do you write well?' 

192 Marion County Bar 

He answered, 'No, I never could write much ; indeed I never 
tried to learn. Our great men East can scarcely write their 
names so that they can be read.' I said, 'Let me see you write/ 
He scratched of! some caricatures looking like Greek or 
turkey tracks. 'That is sufficient; your education is too im- 
perfect for a lawyer; the dead languages may be dispensed 
with, but spelling, reading and writing can not be.' " Mr. 
Smith died at Indianapolis, Saturday, March 19th, 1859. Gen. 
John Love was his son-in-law. 

In those early days, the triple firm of Fletcher, Butler & 
Yandes, consisting of Calvin Fletcher, Ovid Butler and Simon 
Yandes, had the most extensive practice throughout the Fifth 
Judicial Circuit. Their business largely consisted in the mak- 
ing of collections for eastern merchants. They all became 
wealthy and this was due to their integrity and strict atten- 
tion to business, and the acquiring of title to real estate taken 
for debts due to their clients. 

Calvin Fletcher, the senior member of the firm, was born 
in Ludlow, Vermont, February 4th, 1798. He came to 
Indianapolis in September, 1821, when there were only "a 
few newly erected cabins" in the place, and commenced the 
practice of law, and for twenty-two years traveled twice 
annually over the Fifth Judicial Circuit. In 1852 he was 
appointed Porsecuting Attorney of the Circuit, which office 
he held for about one year, and then resigned. It was during 
this time that the celebrated Indian murder case at Pendleton 
was prosecuted by Mr. Fletcher. Four men were convicted 
of murdering eight Indians and hanged. This brought him 
into prominence and a successful future awaited him. In 
after years I became well acquainted with him. He was the 
most energetic, industrious, persevering, social, temperate and 
economical lawyer that I have ever known. It was these qual- 

Marion County Bar 193 

ities of character that made his career so successful and to be 
known as the wealthiest man in Indianapolis. He was a suc- 
cessful lawyer, banker, railroad promoter, and farmer. He 
was the senior member of the banking firm of Fletcher & 
Sharpe which was the leading bank of this city during his 
connection with it. The bank at that time was located at the 
corner of Washington and Pennsylvania streets in the College 
Hall building. My office was upstairs in a small back room 
of the same building. It was a custom of Mr. Fletcher to 
ride to the bank in the morning on horseback, hitch his horse, 
look over his mail and then, during the farming season, ride 
to his farm, the largest in the county, just east of the city on 
the Pendleton road. He kept no buggies or carriages; his 
was too simple a life for that. John B. Dillon, the Indiana 
historian, said of him that "As a speaker his language was 
forcible. His reasonings were generally brief and pointed, 
and were always understood by those to whom they were 
addressed. He belonged to the class of 'business speakers,' 
and he seemed to care very little for the arts of rhetoric and 
logic. He could on proper occasions, use his power of sarcasm 
with great skill." He was about five feet eight inches high 
and was strongly and compactly built. He had dark brown 
hair and gray eyes. His features were symmetrical. He died 
May 26th, 1866, his residence at that time being on a quarter 
of a block at the corner of Pennsylvania and Tenth streets, 
where Mrs. Samuel E. Perkins now resides. He was a devout 
member of the Methodist Church, and for thirteen years was 
superintendent of a Sunday School. The Fletcher Methodist 
Episcopal Church, built on the site of his former residence, 
was named in honor of him. It has been truthfully said of 
him, that he "was one of the men who made Indianapolis 
what it is, and his influence was always for the good." 

194 Marion County Bar 

Ovid Butler was born February 7th, 1801, at Augusta, 
Oneida County, New York. I became acquainted with him 
and his beneficent work, when he and Elder John O'Kane 
were promoting the building of the Northwestern Christian 
University, afterwards known as "Butler College." At that 
time he owned a farm, the southwest corner of which was at 
Fort Wayne and Central Avenue. The University building 
was constructed in a forest on the northeast quarter of the 
farm, Mr. Butler having given the land to the institution and 
largely endowed it. I afterwards graduated from the Law 
Department of that University. Mr. Butler was a great lover 
of trees, this fact being in evidence, even to the present day, 
by the great number of fine forest trees standing on what was 
then his farm. He subdivided the south half of the farm and 
named the principal streets after our native forest trees. An 
exception to this was the name of "Forest Home Avenue," 
which was then the most northern street of the city and ran 
east and west in front of his home, also built in the midst of 
the forest, and known as "Forest Home." Mr. Butler in 
stature and build was rather under size; his movements were 
not hasty; his speech was chaste and well chosen. He was a 
prominent member of what then was known as the Central 
Christian Church. He was not an eloquent lawyer, but was 
a great counselor. It was his part to have charge of the office, 
and advise his associates and clients. He retired from the 
practice of law several years before his death. His latter 
years were leisurely and quietly spent in reading and con- 
templating choice books at Forest Home. It was my privilege 
to take his deposition in the library of that home not long 
before he died. A good man and beneficent citizen passed 
away, when he died July 12, 1881. The good results of his 
beneficence have been far reaching in this State and the 

Marion County Bar 195 

Middle West, and the end is not yet. He was the first in 
this State and so far as I know, in this country, to conceive 
the idea of establishing a University. 

Simon Yandes in person was over six feet high, narrow 
chested, with sallow complexion, light hair, gray eyes and wide 
mouth. His speech was slow and hesitating, attributable to 
a slight stuttering. He was not an orator, but his earnest 
simple plain spoken words were very effective, both in address- 
ing the court and jury. During his association with Messrs. 
Fletcher and Butler, it was his part to look after their local 
business, and he performed it well. In after years he was 
partner of Oliver H. Smith, who was his particular friend 
and admirer. Concerning him Mr. Smith says : "He was one 
of the few men upon whose word, faith and integrity I could 
rely under all circumstances. Surrounded by all kinds of 
temptations, Mr. Yandes was one of the most conscientious 
men in professional and private life I ever knew." If I had 
listened to him and taken his advice, I might now be wealthy 
instead of being poor. I had earned and had at my command 
about one thousand dollars. He advised me to invest it in 
the stock of the Bellefontaine Railroad Company, which was 
selling at less than twenty-five cents on the dollar. He was 
sure that it would advance, and it did, and as I recall, sold for 
about ninety-five cents on the dollar. I did not heed him, and 
put my money in the hands of a partner to buy horses for the 
government. In six months time I was insolvent, with an 
indebtedness of $5,500.00 to pay. Mr. Yandes was a very 
stanch Presbyterian and devised and bequeathed his estate 
principally to Missions and feeble Churches of that denomina- 
tion. For many years the Johnson Block, located on the lot 
where the State Life Insurance Building now stands, was 
one of the most pretentious business buildings on Washington 

196 Marion County Bar 

Street. The second story of it was used for law offtces and 
the third for sleeping rooms. Kilby Ferguson, Robert L. 
Walpole, James N. Sweetzer, John Caven, John B. Dillon, 
Simon Yandes and John L. Ketcham, all lawyers and bach- 
elors, except Mr. Ketcham, had offices on the second floor, 
which was known as ''Bachelors' Roost." Mr. Yandes had 
two rooms, one he used as an office and the other as a sleeping 
room, and these he occupied until the building was torn down 
to make place for the insurance building. 

Another prominent firm was that of Barbour & Howland, 
consisting of Lucian Barbour and John D. Howland. Their 
office was up stairs at the northwest corner of Washington 
and Meridian streets. They had a very large civil and pro- 
bate practice. They were joint authors of "A Manual fof 
Executors, Administrators and Guardians," published in 1862. 
This was the first book of its kind published in this State and 
for many years was recognized as authoritative upon the 
subjects treated in it. It was generally understood that Mr. 
Howland did the principal part of the work and while junior 
in years, and as a member of the firm, his name took preced- 
ence in the authorship of the book. 

In my boyhood days it was customary in our part of the 
country to have Fourth of July celebrations. The Sunday 
Schools from the surrounding country would gather at a cen- 
tral point, march with banners upon which were various 
designs and mottoes, to a grove prepared for the occasion, 
listen to the reading of the "Declaration of Independence," 
the delivery of an oration by some one chosen for the occa- 
sion, and partake of ginger cakes and lemonade. It was on 
one of those occasions in a beech grove where Lawrence is 
located, that I first saw and heard Lucian Barbour speak. 
That speech was delivered, as was his custom, in plain, simple 

Marion County Bar 197 

English, without any attempt at embellishment or oratory, and 
when he had finished we all understood what he had said and 
talked about. He was born at Canton, Connecticut, .March 
4th, 1811, and graduated at Amherst College in 1837. After 
his graduation he moved to Madison, Indiana, and read law 
with Stephen C. Stevens, a Judge of the Supreme Court. He 
settled permanently in Indianapolis in 1839, and died there 
July 19, 1880. In 1848 President Polk appointed him United 
States District Attorney for Indiana. Pie was a member of 
the 34th Congress. In person he was tall and commanding, 
hair sandy, inclined to red, eyes light, features prominent. 
The stoop of his shoulders indicated that he was a great 
student, and this was emphasized by the wide extent of his 
knowledge. He took great interest in horticulture and agri- 
culture, and much pleasure in planting fruit and forest trees. 
An evidence of this, is the beautiful grounds surrounding the 
home of Mr. Frank D. Stalnaker in North Meridian Street, 
which was originally built and improved by Mr. Barbour for 
his home. Mr. Barbour much enjoyed company and especially 
that of children. He wore glasses when at work at his desk, 
and if one came into his office he did not take them off but 
lifted them to his forehead, squared himself in his chair and 
conversed readily and freely. He was a man of high moral 
character and sterling worth. Plis most pretentious literary 
work was that of preparing and editing in connection with 
Walter March and George Carr the Revised Statutes of 1852, 
in two volumes. This was a very serious undertaking. It was 
generally understood that Mr. Barbour performed the major 
portion of the work. It was most excellently done. In June, 
1853, John Freeman, a colored man, was arrested in this city 
as a fugitive slave. Mr. Barbour, with the able assistance of 
John L. Ketcham and John Coburn, defended him. This was 

198 Marion County Bar 

Mr. Barbour's most celebrated case. He caused a writ of 
habeas corpus to be issued for Freeman by Stephen Major, 
the haughty Judge of the Circuit Court, who refused to sus- 
tain it, announcing the startling proposition that as the Consti- 
tution recognized the fact of African slavery in its provisions 
for the forcible capture and return of all persons owing service 
or labor fleeing from one state to another, and as all slaves 
were black, the presumption at law must be that all black men 
were or had been slaves. This looked bad for Freeman, but 
his counsel did not despair of ultimately winning his case, and 
by great and persistent labor they did win it. Freeman con- 
tinued to reside in Indianapolis until the time of his death. 
I knew him well as a very worthy citizen. 

John D. Howland was born in Baltimore, April 29, 1818. 
While he was yet a boy the family moved to Brookville, 
Indiana. He married a daughter of Alfred Harrison, who 
for many years was a prominent banker and highly respected 
citizen of Indianapolis. He was the father of Louis Howland, 
editor of the Indianapolis News; Hewitt Howland, editor of 
the Bobbs-Merrill publications, and Caroline Howland, a lit- 
terateur. During his latter years he lived in his elegant resi- 
dence at the southwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Mich- 
igan street. He was quick in his movements, had a congenial 
disposition and hosts of friends. It was a pleasure to be 
counted as one of them. I knew him well, and held him in 
high esteem. He dressed neatly and elegantly. He had a 
ruddy complexion, grayish hair, sparkling eyes and wore gold 
rimmed glasses, which he lifted to his forehead when he was 
at work at his desk. He was very industrious and a great 
lover of good literature. To him must be given the credit of 
promoting the first public library in this city. It is now known 
as the Indianapolis Public Library, and has just taken pos- 

Marion County Bar 199 

session of its five hundred thousand dollar library' building. 
He was a very able lawyer and was strong in speech both 
before the court and jury. His appointment as Clerk and 
Master Commissioner of the Federal Court was not because 
of any "political pull" but in recognition of his worth. That 
position he held with great credit to himself and to the entire 
satisfaction of the people until the time of his death, which 
occurred December 5, 1877. He was a member and vestryman 
of the Episcopal Church. 

David Wallace, the father of Gen. Lewis Wallace, author 
of "Ben-Hur," and William Wallace, the well beloved lawyer 
of this city, was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, April 
24, 1799. He was admitted to the bar in 1823 at Brookville, 
Indiana. In 1837 he was elected Governor of Indiana and 
moved to Indianapolis, where he continued to reside the 
remainder of his life. He held many offices. In 1856 he 
was elected Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and held 
that office until he died, suddenly, September 4, 1859. It was 
during these years that I knew him. His residence, a large 
tvvo story frame building, was at the corner of Massachusetts 
Avenue and New Jersey street. As I knew him, he was of 
portly build, with black hair, dark sparkling eyes and ruddy 
cheeks. He was a man of much good humor and one who 
enjoyed a good joke. As an orator he had few equals. His 
ability was such that he was constantly in demand for public 
addresses. His home life was most delightful, and young peo- 
ple enjoyed the privilege of being there at the many entertain- 
ments given by him and his wife, who was equally as good 
a hostess as he was a host. As a Judge he was able and impar- 
tial. He was elected to Congress in 1841, made a member of 
the Committee of Ways and Means and voted in favor of 
donating $30,000.00 to Prof. Morse to assist him in construct- 

200 Marion County Bar 

ing a telegraph line between Washington and Baltimore, it 
being the first to be constructed in the world. For this act 
he was ridiculed by his political opponents, but he lived to see 
the telegraph established in nearly all the countries of the 
world, and the wisdom of his action acknowledged by all. 

John L. Ketcham, son of Col. John Ketcham, was born 
in Shelby County, Kentucky, April 3, 1810. He was brought 
by his father to this State in 1811, the Colonel being unwilling 
to raise his family under the baneful influences of slavery. 
Mr. Ketcham graduated at Bloomington, Indiana, in 1834, 
and then came to Indianapolis where he lived until his sudden 
death. He was a man of about the average height with broad 
shoulders, and was one of the finest specimens of physical 
manhood that I have ever known. Erect above his shoulders 
was a Websterian head — indeed, he constantly reminded me 
of a fine engraving that I had seen and admired, of Daniel 
Webster. He was pugnacious. These advantages with a 
comprehensive knowledge of the law and a fine and well 
modulated voice, made him an eminently successful lawyer. 
He commanded and enjoyed a large practice. His large and 
capacious office at the time of his death was upstairs at the 
corner of Meridian and Washington streets, and in it was 
found the largest and most select law library of any single 
lawyer in the city. I was Mr. Ketcham's friend, and why 
should I not be? I have already said that I failed in business 
with an indebtedness of $5,500.00 hanging over me. Incident 
to that failure, I was sued by a leading bank of this city on 
a note for $3,000.00. The issue made in the case had to be 
determined upon the evidence of two witnesses, namely: 
myself and one of the officers of the bank. My veracity was 
at stake. I employed Mr. Ketcham to defend me. That there 
might be no mistake as to whom credit was to be given, he 

Marion County Bar 201 

submitted to the jury interrogatories covering every fact 
attempted to be proven in the case. The jury answered every 
one of them in my favor with a general verdict in my favor. 
Mr. Ketcham was a great lover of music and the leader of 
the choir in the Fourth Presbyterian Church. 

John B. Dillon was an eastern man and as I have already 
stated, had his office in the Johnson Building, with a living 
and sleeping room in the same building. He never got far 
away from his headquarters. He was a bachelor, very quiet 
and the most modest man that I have ever known. He wore 
a silk hat and dressed well in black with a frock coat which 
he always wore buttoned. His eyes were bad and his double 
dark-colored glasses, which he wore constantly, were fitted 
into heavy six-sided instead of oval eye-frames ; these detracted 
from his appearance very much. He was a great student of 
history, and the author of a history of early Indiana — the 
first I think that was published. It has been out of print for 
many years. It is still regarded as the standard authority 
upon the early history of our State. The most gracious thing 
that Calvin Fletcher did when he wrote his will was to remem- 
ber Mr. Dillon in it. Item Six reads : 

"That my Executor be further charged with the payment 
of $200.00 annually for 10 years to aid the Orphan Asylum 
and the poor of the City of Indianapolis, and $1,000.00 to 
Miss Mary Rariden, daughter of my well remembered friend, 
James Rariden, deceased, who aided me in my early practice 
of the law, to be paid to her in three annual installments, with- 
out interest ; and also $500.00 to my friend John B. Dillon, a 
worthy man and neglected historian of our State." 

Robert L. Walpole before becoming a lawyer, if I am not 
mistaken, was a tobacconist. He was of rugged build and 
had everything but a pleasing appearance. His face was that 

202 Marion County Bar 

of the bull-dog outline. He was an incessant and fifthy chewer 
of tobacco. His movements were slow and sluggish. He 
was a man of great perseverance and persistence, and by his 
application overcame the disadvantages of a very limited edu- 
cation. His chirography was unlike thai of any other person 
— it was simply a series of up and down marks, like the ins 
and outs of a rail fence. Often he could not read what he 
had written until he was told what it was about. Occasionally 
the Court required him to have legible copies made of his 
pleadings in order to save time and annoyance of trying to 
decipher them. If he had a difficult complaint to write he 
would make a "stagger" at it. Of course a demurrer would 
be filed to it, and set down for argument. Counsel for the 
defendant would point out the defects of the complaint and 
almost invariably the Court would sustain the demurrer. Wal- 
pole would then take leave to amend and in doing so would 
embody in the amended complaint the suggestions made by 
the defendant's counsel. It was in this way he perfected his 
complaint. Strange to say he had a large and profitable prac- 
tice, both civil and criminal. If he was on the wrong side of 
a case he was never ready for trial, and would obtain con- 
tinuances if it was possible to do so. One way resorted to, 
to secure continuances was to lose the papers. Perhaps 
his most celebrated case was that of the State vs. 
Longnecker. Longnecker lived west of the city and 
was killed by slow poison administered to him, and his 
wife was accused of having administered the poison. She was 
arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to the penitentiary 
for life. Her conviction rested almost entirely upon circum- 
stantial evidence. William P. Fishback prosecuted the case. 
One of the points made by Fishback was that the defendant 
manifested no grief when Longnecker died — did not even 

Marion County Bar 203 

shed a single tear. Walpole's reply was that deepest grief 
never finds expression in emotion and tears, but in silence. I 
was present at the trial and remember how stoically Mrs. 
Longnecker appeared in Court— perfectly unmoved by any- 
thing that was said or done. At the time of his death Wal- 
pole was residing in his large two-story brick residence on 
Meridian street north of where the First Baptist Church now 
stands. He was a bachelor and his maiden sister lived with 
him. He uniformly wore a silk hat and dress suit. He was 
popular with the rabble, but did not have many intimate 
friends with the better class of citizens. 

I knew Hugh O'Neal very well. For a long time our ofrtees 
were in the College Hall building. I used mine both as an 
office and living-room. During that time, I heard O'Neal 
make the same speech twice within twenty-four hours in the 
same case. That came about in this way : He was employed 
to defend a murder case, which attracted much attention. I 
do not now recall the title of the case. The taking of the evi- 
dence was finished in the afternoon and the case adjourned to 
the next morning. That night O'Neal walked to and fro in the 
large open hall between our offices and delivered his speech 
to the walls of the hall. Next day he delivered the same 
speech in open Court to the jury. It was a powerful argument 
and an impassioned appeal. He was a great orator — without 
an equal at the bar. He was of Irish descent, and the son 
of Thomas and Rachel O'Neal. He came of a family of dis- 
tinguished lawyers. He was born in Waynes ville, Ohio, 
November 7th, 1812. He came with his parents to Indian- 
apolis, February 10th, 1821. He attended school at the Old 
Seminary which stood near the southwest corner of University 
Park. Its location is marked by a small stone monument. 
He entered the State University at Bloomington but did not 

204 Marion County Bar 

finish the prescribed course on account of the cholera having 
appeared in that town. He was a self made man. His edu- 
cation was very complete and his command of good English 
was quite wonderful. He was a man of medium size, and 
reminded me much of engravings that I had seen of Henry 
Clay. He carried himself with an erect and haughty bearing. 
He dressed well, wore a silk hat, and frock coat which gen- 
erally was buttoned closely about him. He was a bachelor 
and not much of a society man. His ideals were of the highest 
order. He gave but little attention to the Civil practice, his 
chosen field being that of the Criminal law, in the practice of 
which he was very honorable and successful. His office in the 
latter years of his life was in the Aetna Building on North 
Pennsylvania street, and he boarded at Mrs. Morrison's on the 
same street, that being the leading boarding house in this city. 
He died December 27th, 1860, and was buried in Crown Hill 
Cemetery. No gravestone marks the last resting-place of his 
mortal remains. His nephew, Mr. Hugh O'Neal McVey, 
assures me that he intends to place a suitable marker at his 
grave. Air. McVey is with us tonight and has with him a fine 
daguerreotype of his uncle, which no doubt you will be glad 
to see. 

I studied law with the firm of Gordon & Conner, composed 
of Jonathan W. Gordon and Alexander H. Conner. Their 
office was the rear room over No. 10 East Washington street. 
The stairway up to it was a long and steep one. Many cart 
loads of coal have I carried up it to the office, for it was my 
duty as office boy, to carry it up, build the fires, and keep the 
office clean. This firm was widely known and had a large 
general practice. 

Jonathan W. Gordon came to Indianapolis from Versailles, 
in Ripley County. He first studied medicine and graduated 

Marion County Bar 205 

as a physician. He abandoned that profession, and took up 
the study of law. He was then very poor and had to borrow 
books. He borrowed from Joseph Reeder Troxell "Starkie 
on Evidence." Accidentally he turned over an oil lamp 
and spilled oil on the borrowed volume and spoiled it. 
He thought he must replace the volume with a new one, and 
he did so. The spoiled volume he gave to me, and it is yet 
the most highly appreciated volume in my law library. It still 
bears the coloring and marks caused by the accident. Gor- 
don's extensive medical and legal knowledge made him a for- 
midable adversary in a case involving a question of medical 
jurisprudence. He truly was a great criminal lawyer, and as 
such was employed in many celebrated criminal cases. He 
was a great lover of fine books, especially if they were beau- 
tifully bound, and had uncut leaves. He would buy such 
books, even though he had not enough food in the house for 
his family. The first thing he did after buying a book was 
to write on the fly-leaf "Dog-ear no leaf of this book." He 
then would open the book, and cut the leaves apart as he read. 
He almost always read, not with closed lips, but in an under- 
tone to himself. He was a very industrious man and did an 
immense amount of work that brought him much money 
which was recklessly spent. He knew not the worth of money 
nor how to take care of it. He was always in debt, and died 
a very poor man. He was an eccentric man without a balance. 
Alexander H. Conner was the son of William Conner, the 
Indian trader, and was born on the "Conner Farm" on White 
River this side of Noblesville. He had a collegiate education. 
He was a very large man with a very pleasing round, ruddy 
face. He was possessed of a very congenial, happy tempera- 
ment, and this made it easy for him to gather about him a 
large following of friends. He was popular in society. He 

206 Marion County Bar 

was a good but not a great lawyer, due in a great measure to 
his dislike for hard work and close application to the study 
of law. He had a large patrimony, and was in easy circum- 
stances when I officed with him. Excepting my immediate 
family, he was the best friend that I have ever had. He was 
my endorser in bank when I failed in business, and was the 
first person to whom I went with the story of my failure. 
When I had related this story to him, he said: "You want 
to know what to do?" I said "Yes." He replied: "The first 
thing you must do is to take care of your family; then pay 
those to whom you owe the least /or they probably will need 
their money most, and then pay those to whom you owe the 
most," which as a matter of fact, would include himself. 
About that time John C. Buffkins, whose health was failing, 
and who was Common Pleas prosecutor for the District of 
Marion, Hendricks and Boone Counties, resigned his office 
and recommended me to Governor Morton for appointment 
as his successor. I was appointed, regained my practice and 
paid my debts with accrued interest. Mr. Conner was ap- 
pointed postmaster, and with the Douglas Brothers bought 
the Journal. Their partnership, like mine, proved unfortunate 
and broke up Mr. Conner. He felt his loss very keenly, and 
as a consequence left Indianapolis and went to Fort Kearney 
with the view of making a new start in life. He entered land 
in that vicinity and during the first year lived in a "dug-out" 
or sod home. He was successful in business and soon was 
living at Kearney Junction. I visited him in the summer of 
1882 and found him well and pleasantly situated, and the 
same genial "Ham Conner" who years past had been my fast 
friend. Afterwards he was appointed one of the Commis- 
sioners to Codify the Laws of Nebraska. 

Within a dozen years after the publication of the Code of 

Marion County Bar 207 

1852, there was a large acquisition to the Marion County Bar 
who already or soon thereafter, became distinguished lawyers, 
and added much luster to its high reputation. Most of these 
men came from out counties and had had their training under 
the Constitution of 1816, and the Statutes passed under it, 
and like those already named were well founded in the prin- 
ciples of the law. Among these may be named Benjamin 
Harrison, William Wallace, Xapoleon B. Taylor, Frederick- 
Rand, Reginald Hall, John S. Tarkington, David McDonald, 
William P. Fishback, Byron K. Elliott, John T. Dye, Addison 
C. Harris. Oscar B. Hord. Thomas A. Hendricks, Abram W. 
Hendricks, Joseph E. McDonald. John M. Butler, Conrad 
Baker, Henry W. Ellsworth, Fabius M. Finch and others 
whose names I do not now recall. An account of them or 
either of them, comparatively speaking, would be modern his- 
tory, and not within the scope of this paper. I have known 
all of the gentlemen I have named. Excepting Judge Tarking- 
ton they all have passed over the river to the unknown country 
beyond. My stooping shoulders, shaking hand and faltering 
footsteps admonish me that in the near future I must follow 
them. When I have reached the brink of the river I will have 
the consciousness of having in some measure associated with 
the most of this coterie of learned, distinguished men and 
worthy citizens who contributed no small share to laying the 
foundations for this. "A Xo Mean City." and of having lived 
in the most wonderful period of the world's history. Steam 
navigation and railroading were in their infancy when I was 
born. May 28. 1858. The first voyage of a passenger steam- 
boat, the Sinus, was made that year from London to New 
York in seventeen days. In that year there was not a mile 
of railroad in Indiana, and but eighteen hundred and thirty- 
eight miles had been comoleted in the United St3iss. In 1848 

208 Marion County Bar 

I saw the first passenger train come into Indianapolis, and it 
about frightened me to death. My father could not get me 
near to the engine. Petroleum and natural gas then had not 
been discovered. Photography, wire and wireless telegraphs, 
telephones, linotypes, sewing machines, aeroplanes, submarine 
boats, interurban and street cars, automobiles, traction engines, 
the X-ray and India rubber and its uses were then unknown. 
Electricity had been bridled by Benjamin Franklin but not 
developed and put to use. It remained for Thomas A. Edi- 
son, the wizard of electricity at Menlo Park, to harness it 
and make it subserve almost every imaginable use of life. Not 
only has he done this, but what to me is most wonderful, he 
has invented the phonograph, by which the human voice in 
speech and song is caught and preserved for all future time. 
Not long since as I walked down street I stopped in at Pear- 
son's music store and heard from a Victrola, William Jennings 
Bryan's great speech, entitled "Immortality" and Madame 
Schumann-Heink's wonderful song from Sampson and Delilah, 
entitled "The Wandering Night Song." It requires no great 
stretch of imagination to believe that the great speech and 
wonderful song might be found in the ruins of the Smithsonian 
Institution, a thousand years from now and delivered in the 
same natural tones in which they were first uttered. What 
could be more wonderful ! 

Gentlemen, this is my first and last address before our 
Association. Perhaps it has been too personal. I thank you 
for your presence, and patiently listening to the reading of 
it. Members of the Marion County Bar and the people of 
my native city have been good to me. Of this I have tried to 
be not unmindful, and have in some measure, contributed of 
my means and time to the uplift of this city. Again I thank 

December 5th, 1917. 

Vol. 7. No. 4. 

The National Road in Indiana 



Pen Drawings by 
Willard C. Osier and 
Wilbur Briant Shook 


C. E. Pauley & Co. 

The National Road in Indiana 

By Lee Burns 

To fully understand the reasons that led to the building by 
the National Government of the great highway that crosses 
Central Indiana from east to west, we must go back to the 
movements that led to the building of the original Cumberland 
road to connect the Potomac river with the Ohio. 

A half century before the smouldering discontent of the 
English colonists along the Atlantic coast with their home 
government burst into the flame of revolution, it was seen that 
a conflict was inevitable between English and French for con- 
trol of the country between the Ohio and the Great Lakes, and 
for military reasons alone the English realized that a way to 
the west should be established across the Allegheny mountains. 

From Quebec and Montreal, along the noble river St. Law- 
rence, and across the Great Lakes, French traders and explor- 
ers had found an easy way by water to the fertile valleys of 
the Mississippi, Wabash and Ohio, and had established a chain 
of trading posts extending to the gulf. 

Yet comprehensive claims to most of this territory were 
made by Virginia, and English traders, who had followed the 
tedious trails across the mountains, were as familiar with the 
Ohio valley as any Frenchman. 

In 1748 certain gentlemen of Virginia, including Mr. Aug- 
ustine Washington, of Mt. Vernon, organized the Ohio Land 
Company and were granted by the English government six 
hundred thousand acres of land on the great waterway, which 
they planned to develop. 

These plans were checked and the long foreseen conflict for 
control of this western country began when, in 1753, the Mar- 

210 National Road in Indiana 

quis Duquesne, the French governor of Canada, despatched a 
force to open a way from Lake Erie to the Allegheny and 
established an outpost upon the bank of the river. In that 
same year Robert Dinwiddie of London was appointed Gov- 
ernor of Virginia. He had become one of the stockholders of 
the Ohio company and realized that the interests of both his 
government and the company required that the French be pre- 
vented from gaining control of the Ohio territory. Accordingly 
a message was forwarded requiring them to depart and warn- 
ing them that if they did not the English would drive them off 
by force of arms. 

The messenger who carried this summons, was George 
Washington, half brother to Augustine Washington, of the 
Ohio Company. George Washington was then but twenty- 
one. He had however, served as a surveyor in the rough 
country of the Shenandoah, knew the life of the frontier, and 
was competent to undertake the journey through the pathless 
mountain forests. 

The French received him courteously but made it clear that 
they intended to hold the Ohio as their own. At the forks of 
the Ohio they had built Fort Duquesne and over their highway 
of waters they were receiving reinforcements of men and 
munitions from Canada. 

A few months later a little force of Virginians under Wash- 
ington's command started westward across the mountains to 
expel them from this territory. But first a way had to be cut 
through the trackless forests, the difficulties of transportation 
hampered them at every step and finally, outnumbered two to 
one, they were defeated by the French at the battle of Great 
Meadows. This defeat was caused in a great measure by the 
lack of a roadway for the transportation of their supplies. 

A year later Major General Edward Braddock, newly 
arrived from England, led a force of two thousand men, with 
artillery trains and baggage, through the wilderness against 

National Road in Indiana 211 

Fort Duquesne. Week after week they worked with axe and 
spade, making a way through the dense woods of the moun- 
tains for their stores and artillery, only to meet defeat. 

It was not until 1758 that Fort Duquesne, was abandoned by 
the French, and then it was the campaign of the English 
against their lines of communication along the St. Lawrence 
and the Great Lakes that forced their retirement. The next 
year Quebec was captured and control of the western territory 
reached by way of the St. Lawrence fell into English hands. 

The treaty of 1763, which gave to the English all of the 
territory that the French had claimed east of the Mississippi, 
gave an impulse to the tide of migration over the mountains 
and into the fertile valleys of the west. This movement, that 
was checked somewhat during the war for Independence, began 
again in increased volume immediately after the fighting had 

The claims of the United States to the western country had 
been made secure by the victories of George Rogers Clark at 
Kaskaskia and Vincennes and within a year after peace had 
been declared Washington again journeyed westward over the 
mountains studying the possibility of opening a means of trans- 
portation to connect the head waters of the Potomac with the 
Ohio. He was convinced that unless some better means were 
found for communication with the east the western settlers 
might find it to their interests to form an alliance with the 
Spaniards at New Orleans, which was readily accessible to 
them by water. 

At his suggestion a series of conferences was held between 
representatives of Virginia and the neighboring states to con- 
sider the project, and from these discussions were developed 
far greater plans, that finally resulted in the formation of a 
federal union and the election of Washington to the Presidency. 

During the next few years there was much discussion of the 
proposition to build a national road across the mountains. 

212 National Road jn Indiana 

Washington died before it assumed concrete form but its im- 
portance was recognized by everyone, although many leaders 
of public opinion, including Thomas Jefferson, believed that 
there was no constitutional authority for the construction by 
Congress of internal improvements. 

Finally a solution was found that was satisfactory to every- 
one. Ohio was clamoring for admission to statehood, and in 
the act of Congress in 1802, enabling her people to form a 
state government, it was provided that five per cent of the 
amount received by the National government from the sale of 
public land within the state should be applied to laying out 
and building public roads from the navigable waters emptying 
into the Atlantic to the state, and through the same, such roads 
to be laid out under the authority of Congress and with the 
consent of the states through which they passed. 

Similar provisions were afterwards incorporated in the acts 
that provided for the admission of Indiana, Illinois and Mis- 
souri, three-fifths of the fund being returned to the states for 
their own internal improvements. 

In 1803 Congress made the first appropriation from the re- 
maining two-fifths, the "two per cent fund", as it was called, 
for building a road across the Allegheny mountains to the 
Ohio. This was the official beginning of the great highway 
that finally ran for seven hundred miles to the Mississippi, 
crossing six states and costing, during the quarter century that 
it was under construction, nearly seven million dollars, a huge 
sum in those days. 

This was equal to nearly half the amount paid by the United 
States for the great province of Louisiana, or, to use a more 
modern comparison, it represents the expenditures by this 
country for about four hours of the great war in Europe. 

During the early years of the republic many other plans 
were proposed for highways and canals needed to bind together 
the scattered settlements, yet the national government under- 

National Road in Indiana 213 

took nothing aside from the road to the west. The committee 
appointed by Congress to review this project recommended 
that the road across the mountains should run from the town 
of Cumberland, on the bank of the Potomac in the state of 
Maryland to some place on the Ohio river between Steuben- 
ville and Wheeling. 

The debates in Congress show that a southern branch of the 
National road was also contemplated. In a speech made by 
Henry Clay he referred to the branch that would pass through 
Kentucky and Tennessee to Natchez and New Orleans. How- 
ever, before the road was completed through Ohio and Indi- 
ana the great era of railroad building had begun, and the 
project for a southern highway was generally forgotten. 

Immediately after receiving the report of their committee. 
Congress authorized the laying out and building of the Cum- 
berland or National road, under the direction of the president 
of the United States, the road to be cleared of trees for a 
width of four rods and to have a carriage way in the middle 
paved with stone, gravel or sand. 

This act was approved by Thomas Jefferson on March 29, 
1806, and preliminary surveys were at once begun. The first 
contracts were let in April, 1811, for building the ten miles 
west of Cumberland, Maryland. During the next six years 
additional contracts were made and by 1818 United States mail 
coaches were running on the road between the cities of Wash- 
ington and Wheeling, Virginia. 

A flood of traffic immediately swept over this great highway. 
As early as the year 1822 it is recorded that a single one of the 
five commission houses at Wheeling unloaded over one thou- 
sand wagons and paid for the carrying of goods the sum of 
ninety thousand dollars. 

Hardly had the road been completed when a constitutional 
question again threatened its existence. To secure funds for 
the constant repairs made necessary by the heavy travel, Con- 

214 National Road in Indiana 

cress proposed to establish toll-gates along the road, but a bill 
for this purpose was vetoed by president Monroe on the ground 
that while the national government might have the power to 
make appropriations for public improvements, it had no right 
to assume jurisdiction over the land and levy tolls. Two years 
later, however, the same purpose was accomplished in a differ- 
ent way by a bill providing that the government should put 
the road in good repair and then turn it over for maintenance 
to the several states through which it passed. This bill was 
approved by President Monroe. 

When the road reached Wheeling, Virginia, it came to a 
place where river navigation to the west was possible except 
during the winter, and steamers were plying the Ohio river 
when the Cumberland road was first opened. However, the 
interior parts of the states of Ohio and Indiana were becoming 
gradually settled and needed their own line of communication 
to the east. The demand for a road through the interior re- 
sulted in an act of Congress of May 15, 1820, by which there 
was appropriated $10,000.00 for laying out a road between 
Wheeling, Virginia, and a point on the Mississippi river be- 
tween St. Louis and the mouth of the Illinois river, the road 
to be eighty feet wide and on a straight line. 

Had the road been built on an exact straight line as directed 
it would have been several miles south of its final location, but 
during the summer of that year the site for a permanent seat 
of government for the new state of Indiana was selected, and 
at the next session of the General Assembly of Indiana, held 
at Corydon the following January, the town was named Indi- 
anapolis, orders were given to have it surveyed, and a memorial 
was sent by the Assembly to Congress asking that the line of 
the proposed "Western National Road" which was "esteemed 
to be fifteen miles south" should be located so as to reach the 
new capital, attention being called to the fact that at no other 

National Road in Indiana 215 

place along White River for a distance of thirty miles was 
there so good a location for a bridge. 

Accordingly when, in 1825, Congress made an appropriation 
for building the road as far as Zanesville, Ohio., and complet- 
ing the surveys farther west, they passed an amendment to 
the act of 1820, offered by Jonathan Jennings, of Indiana, pro- 
viding that the road should pass by the seats of government of 
Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. 

The original field notes for the final survey in Indiana, made 
in 1827, are in the office of the Chief of Engineers of the War 
Department at Washington and photographic copies of them 
are in the State Library at Indianapolis. They are in four 
volumes and give distances in chains, the locations of mileposts, 
the name of settlers along the line, and full notes of streams 
and other natural points. 

This work was in charge of Jonathan Knight, Commissioner, 
and Joseph Schower, surveyor. The field notes are in Knight's 
handwriting. There is also at the War Department a map 
made in 1827 under the direction of Jonathan Knight showing 
the location of the road across the state of Indiana. This 
shows that the road was to run due west from the Ohio line 
to Indianapolis, passing through the towns of Richmond and 
Centerville in Wayne County. Centerville was then the county 
seat. Two other towns shown in Wayne County as being near 
the road, Salisbury and Yandalia. have since disappeared. 

From Centerville to Indianapolis there were then no towns 
along the road nor were there any between Indianapolis and 
Terre Haute. Between these last two points the road as lo- 
cated ran in practically a straight line, a little southwest, miss- 
ing Danville, Greencastle and Bowling Green, the newly located 
seats of justice in the counties of Hendricks, Putnam and 

The map of 1827 shows what was known as the ''''State 
Road" running nearly parallel with the proposed National 

216 National Road in Indiana 

Road throughout the entire distance from Richmond to Terre 
Haute. This State Road was one of the roads that had been 
laid out by the state from what was known as the "three per 
cent fund", which was that part of the fund received from 
the sale of government land that Congress had placed at the 
disposal of the state for its own road building. While this 
Indiana State Road had been surveyed, only part of it had 
been cleared when the National Road survey was made. 

The State road was planned to be about 100 feet wide but 
the fund was so insufficient that little could be done but cut 
away part of the timber. This served to admit the sunshine 
and dry out the ground, but at first these state roads were little 
more than bridle paths through the stumps and in bad weather 
they were practically impassable. 

The government road from Cumberland to the west was 80 
feet in width, the timber was grubbed, the ground was graded, 
and the bridges and culverts were built of stone. In the cen- 
ter was a track 30 to 40 feet wide, on which stage coaches 
could race abreast and the plans provided that this was to be 
macadamized with ten inches of stone. 

The Field Notes of the surveyors in Indiana begin as fol- 

"June 13, 1827. Commenced for the continuation of the 
location of the Cumberland Road at a stake 2' 8" high on the 
line dividing the states of Ohio and Indiana, 1 chain and 5 
links from a notched beech and 1 chain and 9 links from a 
notched poplar." 

Trees were used for most of the points of location. The 
character of the heavy timber in Indiana is shown by the men- 
tion in the first few pages of the survey of such trees as elm, 
walnut, hickory, sugar, linn, oak, buckeye, beech, blue ash and 

Between the state line and the settlement at Richmond the 
survey passed near the clearings made by Robert Hill, Dr. 

National Road in Indiana 217 

Griffith and Samuel Charles. Two other settlers were noted 
between Richmond and Centerville, and seven more were noted 
between Centerville and the Western edge of the county. Now 
and then an orchard was noted in the clearings. This upper 
part of the Whitewater valley was at that time the most thickly 
settled part of Indiana along the line of the road. Eight or 
ten other houses were noted on the way to Indianapolis. 

The surveyors reached Indianapolis, then a town of about 
seven hundred inhabitants, on July 5, 1827. East of town 
they came to the Brookville road leading to the lower White- 
water valley country and furnishing communication with Cin- 
cinnati, then the principal market town of this western terri- 
tory. The field notes show that the new road was to run bv 
"Widow Pogue's ditch", then across Pogue's Creek, and then 
continue to the east boundary of the town of Indianapolis, 
where it was to follow Washington Street to the west boundary 
of the town. 

The survey for the road west of Indianapolis was begun 
September 10, 1827. It started from a stake at the west edge 
of the town plat and continued as a prolongation of Washing- 
ton Street to White river. It was noted that a bridge 356 
feet in length would be needed and the site for the west end 
of the bridge was located north of a notched buckeye tree. 
Just east of Eagle Creek the road passed the house of a Mr. 
Harris and west of the creek was the house of William Holmes. 
These were the only settlements west of the river in Marion 
county. On the east fork of White Lick in Hendricks County 
the survey ran north of the house of John Furnas. Ten or 
twelve more clearings were noted between there and Terre 
Haute, each being on the bank of a water course. 

After struggling for over a month through heavy forests, 
wading creeks, and running their lines through the swampy 
lowlands, the surveyors came upon Jenck's distillery about five 
miles east of Terre Haute and located the road a few feet to 

218 National Road in Indiana 

the south. This must have been a red letter day although it 
was the 13th of the month. The next day was Sunday, which 
must have been passed in the neighborhood of the distillery, 
but on Monday morning the surveyors started on across the 
Harrison Prairie, which was covered by water about a foot in 
depth, and by nightfall they had reached the edge of Terre 
Haute at the east end of Wabash Street and had located the 
road along that street to the Wabash river. The survey had 
passed through heavy timber from the eastern line of the state 
until it reached the Harrison prairie. Three days later the 
survey was completed to the Illinois state line which was 
marked by a stake near a notched elm tree and 13 chains, 12 
links from the "six mile tree" on the state line. 

The survey was continued to Vandalia, then the capital of 
Illinois, and finally the road was located to the Mississippi 
river but it was never graded and bridged by the government 
beyond Vandalia. 

Throughout the survey the field notes indicated locations 
where stone could be found for bridges and culverts and the 
necessity was noted for building a number of short canals to 
divert streams that might prove troublesome. 

The first appropriation for opening the road in Indiana was 
made in 1829. The amount was $51,600.00. It provided that 
the work should be carried on both east and west from Indi- 
anapolis under two superintendents, each of whom was to be 
paid $800.00 a year. Homer Johnson and John Milroy were 
appointed superintendents and in June they advertised for pro- 
posals to cut the timber for a road eighty feet wide, remove the 
stumps in the central thirty feet and do the necessary grading. 
It was planned to work east and west from Indianapolis until 
the appropriation was exhausted but the settlers along other 
parts of the surveys made such objections to this seeming dis- 


T3 u 


220 National Road in Indiana 

crimination that word came from Washington to change the 

New ones were therefore drawn that did not provide for 
removing the stumps. It was provided however that no stumps 
were to be over fifteen inches high and that those in the cen- 
ter of the road were to be rounded and trimmed so as to 
present no serious obstructions to carriages. 

Letting of contracts on this basis was begun in Wayne 
County in September, and on October third, John Milroy wrote 
from Terre Haute that contracts had been completed for the 
entire distance across the state, the average price being $121.00 
a mile, leaving as he said a handsome surplus for future work. 

A few weeks later additional instructions came from Wash- 
ington to have the stumps grubbed out. This cost about $75.00 
a mile and left a series of mounds and holes that made the 
road impassable. Many complaints were made to those in 
charge of the work. In a letter written from Washington by 
Jonathan Knight the following February he said that he fully 
realized the condition of the road, but did not doubt the inten- 
tion of Congress to have it graded and bridged. 

During the next ten years Congress made an additional 
appropriation each year for the work in Indiana. The act of 
1831 provided for a bridge over White river where a ferry 
had been operated for several years. The bridge was begun 
that same year and completed three years later. It was a 
covered structure built of hewed timbers of yellow poplar on 
stone piers and abutments and cost $18,000.00. This bridge 
was in use for sixty years and when torn down to make way 
for a more modern structure was still in serviceable condition. 

Great excitement was caused in Indianapolis in the spring 
of 1831 by the appearance of the steamboat "Robert Hanna" 
that had been brought up White river to haul stone for the 
bridge. This seemed to be proof positive that the river was 
navigable. The entire population of nearly eleven hundred 

National Road in Indiana 221 

people turned out to see the boat and a salute was fired from a 
cannon belonging to the local artillery company. However 
the boat grounded on an island where it stayed for several 
months and the stone was finally hauled on a flat boat. 

Five years later a bridge was authorized over the Wabash. 
Stone was hauled for this bridge but it was never built, a 
ferry being used instead until a toll bridge was built several 
years later by private enterprise. 

Hugh McCulloch, a director of the State Bank of Indiana, 
who made his first visit to Indianapolis in 1833, said that there 
were then but two bridges in the state, both built by the gov- 
ernment on the National road. 

By 1834 the road extended clear across the state. A large 
force of men was at work that year on the grades and embank- 
ments in Vigo County. Many of the pioneers made their start 
in life with money earned by working on the road. They were 
paid 62y 2 c a day, which was higher than the usual rate. It 
is recorded that among those who shoveled dirt on the road 
in Clay county when it was under construction in the spring 
of 1833 was Morgan Ringo who earned in this way the money 
to buy his first 40 acres and who afterwards became the heaviest 
tax payer in the county. 

In the newspapers of the day mention is frequently made 
of the enthusiasm caused by the building of the road and of 
the prosperity that it brought. The farmers supplied many 
teams and many of the contractors and laborers who came to 
work on the road became permanent settlers. High grades 
were thrown across the swamps, substantial bridges were built 
by engineers who understood the work and who had ample 
funds at their command, and for the first time a road to the 
east was made able to withstand the spring freshets that had 
washed away the weaker embankments of the settlers. 

In 1836 while work on the road was still in progress, Con- 
gress seriously considered the matter of substituting a rail- 

222 National Road in Indiana 

way for the highway west of Columbus, Ohio. The first rail- 
way in the United States, built ten years before, was a decided 
success, others were being built in every direction and it seemed 
evident that this was the coming means of transportation. 
After considerable discussion, however, it was decided to com- 
plete the road as originally planned, the appropriation of that 
year providing that the greatest possible continuous portion of 
the road in Ohio and Indiana should be completed so that the 
finished part might be surrendered to the states. 

During the following year the road was macadamized 
through Indianapolis making Washington street the first paved 
street in town. This caused such an awakening of civic pride 
that the trustees soon afterwards established grades so that 
sidewalks and gutters could be built by the owners of adjoining 

The last appropriation for work in Indiana was made in 
1838, the total amount spent by the government in the state 
being $1,136,000.00. 

Heavy immigration through central Indiana had begun 
before the National road was under way. In 1827 the Indi- 
ana Gazette noted that for a week the town had scarcely been 
free of immigrant wagons and in a later issue of the same 
year they said that often as many as thirty were camped to- 
gether for the night. Most of this travel came on the Madison 
and Brookville roads from the Ohio river. 

Practically all of the travel in Indiana before the Govern- 
ment road was in condition to be used was from south to north, 
along the water courses and the roads and trails from the 
Ohio, but during the next ten years a constant stream of immi- 
gration passed through Indianapolis on the National road, 
many of the settlers going to the Wabash country, being at- 
tracted by the fertility of the land and by the movement, begun 
in 1827, for a canal to connect the Wabash river with Lake 

National Road in I 




224 National Road in Indiana 

Later on, during the years before the Civil war, a steady 
line of canvas covered emigrant wagons moved over the road 
to the far west, many going because of the discoveries of gold 
in Colorado. Inscribed on the canvas was often seen the 
destination of the travelers. One wagon that bore the legend 
''Pike's Peak' or Bust" came trailing back a few months later 
with the laconic word, "Busted" added below the original 

Although when the road was surveyed across Indiana the 
only town between Centerville, near the eastern boundary of 
the state, and Terre Haute near the western boundary, was 
Indianapolis, the capitol in the woods, within the next few 
years many towns were located that became busy and prosper- 
ous with the building of the highway. 

In the boom days that followed, lots in Centerville sold 
rapidly and prices were high. Some of the streets, originally 
100 feet wide were narrowed to 60 and even 40 feet, to gain 
more ground, residences were built flush with the sidewalk 
and even alleys were arched over to make more room. Sev- 
eral examples of such covered alleys may be seen there today. 

East of Indianapolis, both Greenfield and Knightstown were 
established in 1828, the year following the survey, Knightstown 
being named in honor of Jonathan Knight the surveyor in 
charge of the road, and a year later the town of Cumberland 
was established and named for the road itself. Other settle- 
ments followed rapidly and in 1835 the little town of Vandalia, 
in Wayne County, was abandoned because the highway had 
passed a few miles to the south. As the highway did not go 
to Vandalia, Vandalia went to the highway. Some of the 
buildings were moved down to the big road and Cambridge 
City was established. 

West of Indianapolis, Plainfield, Belleville, Stilesville, Put- 
namville and Harmony were all established within a few years 
of the location of the road, and all were prosperous towns dur- 

National Road in Indiana 225 

ing the years that it was the only means of transportation 
between the east and west. 

Putnamville was at one time a rival of Greencastle and came 
very near securing the location of DePauw University, but 
when later on the builders of the railroad from Terre Haute 
to Indianapolis decided to swing it north to Greencastle, miss- 
ing Putnamville, Belleville and Stilesville, the growth of these 
.towns came to an end. They are still picturesque communities, 
with a charm and serenity lacking in the busier railroad towns. 

Brazil, the largest town established in Indiana along the 
National highway, was not located until 1844 and six years 
later had only eighty-four inhabitants but its location on the 
main line of travel finally caused the county seat to be moved 
there from Bowling Green. The first relay station for chang- 
ing horses on the stage line east of Terre Haute was at the 
present site of Brazil and for several years was the only build- 
ing there. 

Among the first business ventures along the road were 
blacksmith and wagon shops that soon were made busy by 
the constantly increasing traffic. These together with a tav- 
ern, and a general store in which the postoffice was located, 
made the beginning of many a prosperous town. From the 
general stores went peddlers' wagons, that carried hardware, 
drugs, dry goods and other staple articles to the more remote 

The road became a busy thoroughfare. Over its long 
stretches passed a procession of stage and mail coaches, ex- 
press carriers, emigrants a*nd wagoners with heavy loads of 
freight. Wagon house yards were located along the line, 
where the tired horses rested over night beside their great 
loads, and taverns, famous in their day, were built at con- 
venient points for the stages, that were constantly arriving and 

In 1832, before the road was in condition for fast travel, 


National Road in Indiana 

the stage line of P. Beers was advertised to make the trip 
from Indianapolis to Dayton in two and a half days. This 
included stopping each night at a tavern. In later years it 
became the custom for many of the stages to drive straight 
ahead, day and night, until they reached their destination. In 
good weather they would average about 150 miles a day but 
in bad weather the time was much slower. 


Passenger and mail coaches were operated much like the 
railways of today, the rival lines fighting each other at times 
with great bitterness and competing in speed, accommodations 
and rates of tariff. However, the freight traffic was more im- 
portant than the passenger business, as it is on the railroads 
today. Great wagons hauled the produce of the middle west 
over the mountains to the Potomac and brought back the 
products of mill and factory. This freight traffic created a 
race of wagoners who were strong and daring and many stories 
were told of their prowess. 

The favorite wagons for hauling freight were of the Cones- 

National Road in Indiana 227 

toga type, named for the valley in Pennsylvania where they 
were first built. These wagons had long deep beds, sloping 
upward at each end, to prevent the contents from shifting when 
going up and down the hills. The underbody was usually 
painted blue while the upper woodwork was bright red. The 
top was covered with canvas drawn over wooden bows. The 
wagons had wheels of unusual strength, most of them with 
broad treads, as tolls for broad wheels were less than for the 
narrow ones that tended to cut up the road bed. They made 
a brave showing and the wagoners were very proud of them. 
Some had bells hung on an arch over the hames of the harness 
that kept up a constant chime. 

The most important official use of the National highway 
was as a means for transporting the United States mail and 
on this road was an important trunk system of mail coach lines. 
The Great Eastern and Great Western mails ran between St. 
Louis and Washington and many lesser mail lines connected 
with the Cumberland road at different points along the way, 
the principal ones being those from Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. 
Even compared with the fast mail trains of today the express 
mails of 80 years ago made excellent time. 

In 1837 the schedule of the postoffice for the Great Western 
mail from Washington to Indianapolis, was 65^2 hours and to 
St. Louis 94 hours. The ordinary mail coaches, which also 
carried passengers, made much slower time, it taking six days 
and twenty hours to reach Washington from Indianapolis. 

The schedule of mails printed in the Indiana Journal in 1833 
showed an eastern mail by Centerville three times a week and 
a mail to Terre Haute twice a week. The Government re- 
quirements of 1842 for carrying the mails east and west from 
Indianapolis called for coaches drawn by four horses to be run 
six days a week. The approach of the mail coach was 
announced by the blowing of a bugle to notify the postmaster 
to be ready for a quick change of mails. In a few minutes it 

228 National Road in Indiana 

would be off again at full speed. The drivers of the fast mails 
were selected for their skill and daring and they took great 
pride in maintaining their schedules. When news of unusual 
importance was being carried, such as a president's message, 
extra relays of horses were provided along the route and every 
effort was made to establish a new speed record. At such 
times it was the part of wisdom for a traveler who had any 
regard for his personal comfort to wait for a slower coach. 

The charm of the road in those picturesque days has appealed 
to many Indiana authors. In his narrative in verse, "A Child 
World", whose scenes are laid in an old homestead facing the 
highway, James Whitcomb Riley has called it a road that 
"blossoms with romance". 

"Historic Indiana", by Julia Henderson Levering, contains 
a delightful account of a trip over the road to the east by 
stage when such a journey was an event to be planned by the 
traveler months in advance, "A new dozen of shirts, all of 
finest linen, must be hand stitched for the journey. His best 
blue broadcloth clothes and flowered waistcoat must be brushed, 
his gold fob polished, and the beaver hat remodeled and ironed." 
While his wife "would content herself with a made-over outfit, 
so that she might purchase 'brand new' peau de soie and French 
merino at the centers of fashion." 

Benjamin S. Parker lived as a boy in Eastern Indiana near 
the great thoroughfare. In his recollections of those days in 
the eighteen-forties he says "a flood-tide of emigration poured 
along the great highway from June to November, such as the 
world seldom saw upon a single line before the modern rail- 
road era. 

"These companies of wagons were those of 'the movers' 
as we termed the families that were traveling from the older 
States to the new ones, to open farms and make homes there. 
Many families occupied two or more of the big road-wagons 
then in use, with their household goods, and their implements, 

National Road in Indiana 229 

while extra horses, colts, cattle, sheep, and sometimes hogs, 
were led or driven behind. 

"But everybody did not travel in that way. Single families, 
occupying only a single one or two horse wagon or a cart, 
frequently passed along, seeming as confident and hopeful as 
the others, while even the resolute family, the members of 
which carried their worldly possessions upon their backs or 
pushed them forward in hand-wagons, was not an unfamiliar 

"With the tinkling of the bells, the rumbling of the wheels, 
the noise of the animals, and the chatter of the people, as they 
went forever forward, the little boy who had gone down to the 
road from his lonesome home in the woods was naturally capti- 
vated and carried away into the great, active world that he had 
not before dreamed of. 

"But the greatest wonder and delight of all was the stage- 
coach, radiant in new paint, drawn by its four matched horses 
in their showy harness, and filled inside and on top with well- 
dressed people, representatives of the commercial and pro- 
fessional life of the land. 

"I think yet that there has never been a more graceful or 
handsorhe turnout than one of those fine old stage-coaches 
drawn by a splendid team of matched horses, and driven by 
such drivers as used to handle the ribbons between Richmond 
and Indianapolis. We could hear the driver playing his bugle 
as he approached the little town that lay just beyond us, and it 
all seemed too grand and fine to be other than a dream." 

Every traveler was welcomed with generous hospitality by 
the settlers of those days but travel became so heavy that in 
self-defense some of those who lived along the highway were 
compelled to hang out tavern signs to indicate that some 
charges would be made. The usual rates were twenty-five 
cents for a bed or meal and many comfortable fortunes were 
made at these rates. The legislature of Indiana seemed to feel 

230 National Road in Indiana 

that this business needed some regulations and in 1832 passed 
an act providing that before a tavern keeper should be per- 
mitted to retail liquor he should have at least one spare room 
with two beds and bedding, good stabling for at least four 
horses and should keep posted in his public room the rates for 
food, lodging, stabling and liquor. 

The first taverns of the west were built mostly of logs, often 
of but one or two rooms where the guests were glad to sleep 
together upon the floor, but better taverns arose beside the 
western roads even before the Cumberland road was under 
way. In Zanesville, Ohio, Robert Taylor built in 1807 a tav- 
ern from which he hung out the "Sign of the Orange Tree",, 
where in 1810, when Zanesville was the temporary capitol of 
Ohio, the legislature made its headquarters. 

The first tavern in Columbus, Ohio, was built in 1813 and 
bore the sign of "The Lion & the Eagle". The Neil House at 
Columbus, opened sometime in the twenties, was the head- 
quarters of the Neil-Moore & Company line of stages and was 
the best known tavern in Ohio in the old coaching days. 

Billy Werden's tavern in Springfield was the leading hostelry 
in western Ohio. At this point the stages to Cincinnati left 
the Cumberland road. At Richmond, Indiana, were the Starr 
tavern, Gilbert's tavern, Bayles' Sign of the Green Tree and 
Sloane's brick stage house, all of which shared in the business 
of the road. There was also at the corner of Main and Franklin 
"the Friends' Boarding House", known afterwards as Nixon's, 
and later on as the Huntington House. Here in 1842 Henry 
Clay, with the gallantry of a Kentucky gentleman and the 
strategy of an old political campaigner, kissed a number of 
Quaker ladies who had come to greet the distinguished visitor. 
This caused considerable comment, and the echoes of those 
kisses were heard in the next presidential campaign. At Cen- 
terville travelers found the White Hall Tavern and the Man- 
sion House, a great center in the stage coach days, and at 

National Road in Indiana 


Cambridge City was the United States hotel and the Inn, a 
long two-story frame structure where horses were changed 'by 
the stages running between Indianapolis and Dayton. This 
building was torn down several years ago. 

Drawing by Wilbur B. Shook 


Just west of Cambridge City still stands the Huddleston 
house, built in the early forties, a great three-story brick build- 
ing where hundreds of emigrant wagons stopped on their way 
to the west. The wagon yard is still there and the huge brick 
oven where travelers were at liberty to do their baking. One 
morning, so the story goes, Mr. Huddleston found that a 
party of emigrants had departed at daybreak, forgetting their 
bread that had been put in the oven the night before. Hastily 
saddling a horse he followed them with the bread only to dis- 
cover that their hurried departure had been caused by the fact 
that they had taken his best set of harness. 

232 National Road in Indiana 

Farther west on the way to Indianapolis travelers would 
come to Dillon's Tavern and Stage Office at Knightstown, and 
at Greenfield they would find Gooding Hall and a rival tavern 
kept by the postmaster, William Sebastian. At Cumberland 
was a tavern known as Cumberland Hall. 

In Indianapolis was Washington Hall, a frame tavern built 
about 1826 by James Blake and Samuel Henderson, on the 
south side of Washington street. This became a famous 
hostelry. In 1833 Mr. Henderson announced that additions 
making it the largest hotel in the state had been completed, 
including several large and commodious porches that afforded 
pleasant promenades and handsome views of the town. Three 
years later it was replaced by a brick structure bearing the 
same name that was for years the headquarters of the Whig 
Party in Indiana. For fifteen years it was in charge of 
Edmund Browning, whose able management added to its fame. 
Among his successors as landlord of this fine old tavern was 
General W. J. Elliott, whose son, Byron K. Elliott, afterwards 
became a Judge of the Supreme Court and the author of sev- 
eral well known legal text books. 

Across the street from Washington Hall was the Mansion 
House, afterwards known as the Union Hotel, a two-story 
brick building kept by Basil Brown, a well known landlord of 
the time. This was Democratic headquarters until the build- 
ing of the Palmer House, on the corner of Illinois street in 
1841. At the corner of New Jersey street John Little opened 
a frame tavern in the summer of 1834. This was known for 
years as the "Sun Tavern" from a picture of the rising sun 
that was painted in brilliant colors on the swinging sign over 
the door. It was a favorite inn with the many travelers who 
came on horseback along the National road. 

At Mt. Jackson, a few miles west of Indianapolis, was the 
home of Nathaniel Bolton, one of the founders of the first 
newspaper at the Capitol, and his gifted wife, Sara T. Bolton. 

National Road in Indiana 233 

Their large rambling house, built partly of logs and partly of 
frame, was a center of hospitality, famous throughout the 
middle west. On account of financial troubles, caused by pay- 
ing debts of friends for whom he had endorsed, Mr. Bolton 
found it necessary to turn his home into a tavern, which he 
conducted for nine years, when the farm was bought by the 
state as the site for the Central Insane Hospital. Mrs. Bolton 
has said that during these busy years she often acted as house- 
keeper, dairy maid and cook. 

A few miles further west of Indianapolis was the Hartsock 
tavern at Bridgeport and the Ohio House at Plainfield. Just 
west of Mill Creek in Putnam County were the twin taverns 
known as the Tecumseh and Washington Hall that were well 
known in their day, and farther on in Putnamville was the 
Eagle House. 

During the busy years of the road there were nine taverns 
along the road in Clay County alone. One of the best, known 
as Kennedy's, was at the crossing of the state road to Rock- 
ville and Bowling Green, while on the hill west of where Brazil 
now stands was Cunningham's Tavern, which later on was 
enlarged and a race course added where Terre Haute sports- 
men trained their horses. Across the road from Cunningham's 
was the Usher homestead built in 1838 and thought by many 
to be the finest dwelling in that part of Indiana. 

The first tavern in Terre Haute was the Eagle and Lion. 
When the highway reached the town, which then had about 
800 inhabitants, the principal hotel was the Early House. 

All along the road were wagon houses that offered their 
hospitality to the hundreds engaged in the freight traffic. 
Most of these wagon houses were situated at the edge of the 
larger towns where the prices were more reasonable than at 
the inns near the center of business. These wagon houses 
were surrounded by commodious yards for the horses. In all 
of the taverns and wagon houses were great fireplaces, in which 
logs were burned, whose fires lighted up the rooms during the 


234 National Road in Indiana 


winter evenings and before which drivers and passengers were 
glad to spread their blankets and sleep through the night when 
other accommodations could not be had. 

The taverns were the centers of the social life of the day. 
Many a dance was held on their puncheon floors to music 
played by the old time fiddlers. Judges, riding the circuits, 
together with the members of the bar, made them their head- 
quarters and within their walls were planned many of the 
strategies of those heated campaigns that swept the old Indian 
fighter, William Henry Harrison, into office to the tune of 
'Tippecanoe and Tyler Too", and that afterwards resulted in 
decisive victories for the Democrats, under the leadership of 
such men as James Whitcomb and Robert Dale Owen, and 
the carrying of the next presidential election by James K. Polk. 

During these years both Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren 
traveled across Indiana along the National Road making 
speeches at the important towns. Clay had always been a 
champion of the road, but Van Buren had opposed internal 
improvements by the Federal Government and when his coach 
tipped over in the worst mud hole at Plainfield many thought 
that this supposed "accident" had been arranged to give him 
an object lesson on the importance of keeping the highway in 

After the Government stopped work on the road in Indiana 
it was turned over to the state in 1848. But the state would 
have none of it. The canals and railroad that it had built in 
a gigantic and ill considered scheme of internal improvements 
had resulted in financial disaster, and the state had begun to 
turn them over to such private companies as would agree to 
complete them and keep them in operation. 

And so control of the National road through Hancock, 
Marion, Hendricks and Putman Counties was granted in 1849 
to the Central Plank Road Company which covered the road 
with oak planks and put up a series of toll gates. In Indian- 

National Road in Indiana 235 

;apolis a toll gate was built at the bridge and another just east 
of town. This was considered by the citizens as taking an 
unfair advantage of the franchise and finally the eastern gate 
was removed, after the town council had agreed that the com- 
pany should not be required to keep Washington street in 
repair. After a time the planks began to decay and the road 
was graveled. When an excavation was made for a sewer in 
Irvington not many years ago, some of the old planks were 
discovered in a good state of preservation. 

An English traveler, Mr. J. Richard Beste, who visited "the 
interior of America" in 1851, noted in his book, "The Wabash", 
that tolls were not required to be paid on the Central Plank 
Road by those "going to or returning from militia musterings, 
from any religious meeting on the Sabbath, from any state, 
town or county election, or from any funeral procession." 

Through Wayne County the road was taken over by the 
Wayne County Turnpike Company and was operated by it as 
a toll road for over forty years when it was finally purchased 
rjy the townships through which it passed and made a free 
gravel road, and in Henry county the road was operated for 
many years by a private company. 

When the era of railroad building began, among the first 
projects were those for paralleling the National road in order 
to secure some of its great traffic. The Terre Haute & Indi- 
anapolis Railroad, the second railroad completed to Indian- 
apolis, organized by Chauncey Rose of Terre Haute, was 
begun in 1851, construction work being carried on from both 
ends of the line. A year later the first train was run over the 
road. During the time of construction the gap in the line was 
connected by stage. Some idea of the amount of travel at that 
time may be had from the annual report for 1852, published 
just before the road was completed, in which Mr. Rose re- 
ported that, at the urgent request of the people, a box car for 
passengers had been attached to each iron train, bringing in 

VoL - 7 - No. 5. 

Early Indianapolis 





On November 15, 1918, the Indianapolis Women's Club de- 
voted its program to Indianapolis, the exercises being grouped 
under the title: "The Indianapolis Symphony." In this har- 
monious enterprise, the first paper, entitled "Allegro," was the 
one following, which is now rechristened, "Early Indianapolis." 
The appropriateness of both titles, in their diverse connections, 
will be apparent to the reader. 

Through quotations from the diary of her grandmother, 
Mrs. Calvin Fletcher, Mrs. Hodges presents a peculiarly inti- 
mate view of early life in Indianapolis, which occasioned an 
appeal for her consent to its publication in this form. 

J. P. Dunn, Secy. 

Early Indianapolis 

A verse from Riley's "Tale of the Airly Days" has pervaded 
my mind since this topic was assigned me, and, with an in- 
sistence which would not be denied has suggested the man- 
ner in which I should treat the opening number of the Indi- 
anapolis Symphony. 

My Allegro is not necessarily a sprightly movement, with 
gay and merry touches, although these qualities are not lack- 
ing; but it is rather the beginning of the composition as well 
as a harmony of mingled sounds, a concert of voices — the 
voices of the past. 

And so my heart warms towards Riley and his verse when 
he begs for "plane facts, plane words of the good old fash- 
ioned ways — 

Don't tech 'em up like the poets does 

Tel theyr all too fine for use. 

Tell me a tale of the timber lands 

Of the old time pioneers. * * * 

Tell of the old log house — about 

The loft and the puncheon flore — 

The old fi-er-place, with the crane swung out, 

And the latch string through the door." 

In thinking of the earliest days one pictures the legislature 
and Jonathan Jennings, first governor of Indiana, consulting 
with the Commissioners appointed "to locate and lay out a 
permanent capital for the State." It is a matter of history that 
thev decided on the site at the point where Fall Creek flows 


into White River, June 7, 1820. Indianapolis consequently 
has served as the capital of the commonwealth nearly one 
hundred years. 

Corydon, the pleasant village of story and pageant, had that 
distinction for a brief time immediately after the state was ad- 
mitted into the Union, affixing by her admission, the nineteenth 
star to the flag. 

Reviewing history we find there were many and far dis- 
tant capitals. When France through her explorers possessed 
a vast domain of which this territory was a part, Paris was 
the capital. By the treaty of Paris, at the close of the Seven 
Years W T ar, it shifted to London. Richmond, Virginia fol- 
lowed, after the Revolution, when Clark took possession of 
the country west of the Ohio river. The capital was nearer 
when Virginia's rule ceased in 1790 on the formation of the 
Northwest Territory, for Marietta, Ohio, was made the seat 
of government. Ten years later Vincennes had this dis- 
tinction when Indiana Territory was established. Vincennes 
forms, therefore, the last link in the chain of capitals joining 
Paris in France, many leagues away, to Indiana Territory 
through the frontier French town on the Wabash. 

Through these centuries of changing government Indiana 
can claim a past as interesting as it is remote, reaching as it 
does to the days when Louis the Great, fourteenth of that 
name, sat on the throne of France. 

But kings and thrones have little to do with the "Capital 
in the Wilderness," our present concern, except perhaps to 
serve as a background, a dim and faded tapestry 7 hung on the 
walls of memory bringing out by contrast the virility, the 
sturdiness, and the self dependence of the pioneers. 

Mention has been made of the Commissioners earlier in 
this paper — let us join them as they sit about the cherry table 
(still in existence) in John McCormick's cabin considering 


the business the Governor has entrusted to them; weighing 
the merits of the three sites proposed for the capital ; the 
Bluffs, twenty miles to the south known as Whetzell's Settle- 
ment, the home of the Indian fighter and trace maker; Con- 
ner's Prairie to the north, a trading post surrounded by In- 
dian huts, and the Fall Creek Settlement where McCormick's 
cabin stood. 

The determining factors in the choice were the river, pre- 
sumably navigable, its banks at this point making a good boat 
landing, the level surface of the adjacent land and last but 
by no means least, the central location of the Fall Creek 

After the Commissioners had made a favorable report to the 
Legislature, Congress granted the request for land by a do- 
nation of four sections for "the Capital in the Wilderness," 
as Judge Daniel Waite Howe so aptly calls it. 

The donation was sixty miles from the nearest settlement 
and within a few miles of the boundary which divided the 
"New Purchase" from the land still claimed by the Indians. 

Speaking of conditions which existed then a writer says, 
"There was no town, no people except in the lonely cabins 
miles apart ; not a road leading anywhere, no farm lands un- 
der cultivation, no supplies except those bought by pack 
horses on the trails made originally by the Indians." 

Under such circumstances a visit from the neighbor in 
the remote clearing or the arrival of the traveller with news 
of the world was remembered with delight. The itinerant 
preacher of any denomination was always a welcome guest; 
he played no small part in the development of Indiana from 
the crude material of a hundred years ago. He did not hold 
himself aloof from the social and economic duties of the 
period, but helped in log rollings, house raisings and com 
huskings while he kept up his preaching. 


Some of these men were unlearned, some even illiterate, 
but their congregations were not scholarly and no one now 
can question the wisdom of utilizing even such as they in 
the moral and religious work of the times. Should the field 
have been left uncultivated until enough college-bred preach- 
ers could be sent to look after it? 

Our forefathers were absorbed in making and protecting 
their rude homes and gathering their meager crops — in clear- 
ing their recently purchased acres — they therefore had little 
time for intellectual pursuits. 

In his defense of dialect Riley says with truth, "Many of 
the heroic ancestry of our best people grew unquestionably 
dialect of caste — not alone in speech but in every mental trait 
and personal address. It is a grievous fact for us to confront 
but many of them wore apparel of the commonest, talked 
loudly and doubtless said 'this away and that away, What y' 
doin' of and whur you goin' at' !" 

But let us return to the settlement for which we have 
attempted by this digression to create atmosphere. 

The Legislature included in the act ratifying the selection 
of the site provision for the election of three commissioners 
to lay out the capital and an agent to have charge of the 
sale of lots. 

Judge Jeremiah Sullivan states that on his motion, sec- 
onded by Mr. Samuel Merrill, the town was named Indian- 
apolis, a name which created some amusement when first pro- 

Of the commissioners elected, Christopher Harrison was 
the only one to appear at the place on the date fixed upon. 
Without delay he carried on alone the survey and the sale of 
lots, a proceeding very properly legalized by an act of the 
Legislature in November, 1821. Judge Harrison was one 
of the most interesting characters who ever reached Indiana. 

2 4-5 

He came from Maryland, was possessed of some wealth, had 
a fine education and a taste for art. He had loved Elizabeth 
Patterson, who married Jerome Bonaparte ; failing to win her 
he came to Indiana where he lived a hermit on the bluffs of 
the Ohio river near Hanover. Seeking political honors he 
ran for governor against Jennings, but was badly defeated ; 
notwithstanding this defeat he was held in high esteem by 
the successful candidate, as well as by the Legislature. 

Harrison selected Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Ford- 
ham as surveyors of the new capital, and Benjamin I. Blythe 
as clerk to the commissioners. Ralston was a Scotchman, a 
man of ability who had been entrusted by Lord Roslin with 
important engineering work before coming to this country. 
He had assisted Major L'Enfant, companion of La Fayette^, 
in surveying Washington, the national capital. It is a well 
known fact that the design employed by L'Enfant influenced 
Ralston in his survey of Indianapolis, the scheme involving 
as it does a circle in the center with radiating avenues and 
streets intersecting at right angles. Completing the survey 
Ralston left the settlement but returned in 1822 for per- 
manent residence. He built a little brick house on West 
Maryland street near Capitol avenue, remarkable at the time 
for the great number of windows and doors it contained ; here 
he lived until his death in 1827; he was buried at Green 
Lawn Cemetery. It was said that he was involved in Aaron 
Burr's conspiracy, but it is probable that he was only em- 
ployed to survey the lands Burr had purchased. Whatever 
the association Ralston was held in high esteem by his fel- 
low townsmen; the children loved him and the birds came 
to his door to be fed. 

Various memorials to his memory have been suggested, but 
as yet nothing has been done by this community. 

There were a few, however, who did not forget him and 


his services to the city. Ralston's body had rested in Green 
Lawn Cemetery half a century when it was carried to Crown 
Hill escorted by half a dozen old citizens and laid in the 
teachers' lot by the side of John B. Dillon, Indiana's dis- 
tinguished historian. 

Fordham, the second surveyor, well educated and of a dis- 
cerning mind, was a member of an ancient family in the east 
of England. He joined the celebrated Illinois colony at English 
Prairie, in 1817. He was a pupil of George Stephenson, in- 
ventor of the locomotive steam engine. 

Had I been more familiar with the history of my native 
city I would have looked with greater interest, when I visited 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, on Stephenson's engine, the Rocket, 
standing silent among its noisy successors in the railway sta- 

The association of the men concerned with the beginning 
of Indianapolis, with those of the far away world will bear 
repeating — Harrison with the beautiful Miss Patterson and 
Jerome Bonaparte ; Ralston with Lord Roslin, Aaron Burr, 
L'Enfant, La Fayette, and Fordham with George Stephenson. 

The survey completed, with certain reservations for public 
purposes, a state house, a state university, a court house, etc., 
the town lots heavily timbered, staked off at streets running 
through the woods, were offered for sale. 

Now we witness the beginning of the town, the news having 
gone abroad that the capital was located immigrants began to 
arrive from Ohio, Kentucky, the Carolinas, from Pennsylvania, 
New England and Virginia. To follow "the course of em- 
pire" was a difficult and dangerous undertaking, since the 
roads were hardly more than trails worn by man and beast, and 
Indians lurked in the forest resentful of the change taking 
place in their old hunting ground. White river, an uncertain 


mode of travel, furnished the only other means of approach 
to the new capital. 

The sale of lots began in October, 1821 ; the purchasers in 
most cases selecting those along the river and on Washington 
street, for many years known as Main street. Isaac Wilson 
built the first frame house of the new town on what is now 
State House Square. 

We have come to that stage of the town's development where 
I find myself turning to the diary of one of its pioneer mothers 
for some unembellished pictures of the early days. She was 
a participant in as well as a witness of the simple life of the 
town, a life at times "so uneventful that the utter absence 
of anything in it to remark upon became in itself remarkable." 

The diary begins "October the first, 1821. We arrived at 
Indianapolis and procured a house or rough cabin, sixteen 
feet square, into which I entered with alacrity after enduring 
the fatigues of our journey from Ohio which lasted thirteen 
days. October the eighth. The sale of lots commenced near 
our house ; a great concourse of people were present. Fri- 
day, November 10. I was spinning at Mrs. Nowlands. Sat- 
urday, I was baking pumpkin pies. Sunday I attended prayer 
meeting at Mr. Stephen's. Monday, November 19; this day 
I was shopping. I only bought a pound of cotton from which 
I spun some candlewick. Mrs. Nowland (a near neighbor) 
was making a bonnet; she came to me to know whether I 
would make it. I did not undertake it I but I gave her all 
the instruction I could." Mrs. Nowland hardly needs an 
introduction to those familiar with the early settlers. Her 
husband, Matthias, travelled up White river with the Commis- 
sioners on their tour of inspection, and being favorably im- 
pressed with the site they selected he returned to Kentucky for 
his family. Mr. Nowland built his home south of Washing- 
ton street near what is now California street. 

2 48 

His grandson, Col. John W. Ray, describes it as a log 
cabin in the woods with a chimney of sticks and mud, with 
fireplace so wide and doorway so broad that once a week 
during the winter a horse dragged in a big back log for the 
fire. It was here that Ralston lived while surveying the 
capital. It was one of the traditions in Col. Ray's family 
that his mother, Sarah Anne Nowland, then a girl of thirteen 
years, carried the chain for the surveyors laying out the streets 
because men and boys were so busy clearing out the woods 
they could not be obtained to help the surveyors. 

Who Preached the First Sermon and Where Was it 

Delivered ? 

The discussion has never waxed as warm as that concerning 
the first settler, Pogue or McCormick, but Rev. Rezin Ham- 
mond, whose congregation sat on logs rolled together by the 
surveying party near the Circle, claims first place; there are 
those, however, who make the same claim for William 
Cravens, grandfather of Mrs. Ann Woodburn and Mrs. Jane 

His sermon was delivered on a warm summer day; Mr. 
Cravens, who weighed two hundred and fifty pounds, conse- 
quently suffered from the excessive heat. Spying a young 
girl in the congregation fanning herself with a turkey's wing, 
and looking to it for relief from his discomfort, the preacher 
paused in the midst of his sermon; leaning from his impro- 
vised pulpit he beckoned to the girl, saying "Come here, 
darter, and fan your grandpap while he preaches." 

To return to the diary, "I was very much engaged in try- 
ing out my tallow ; next day I dipped candles and washed. 
Tuesday, December 25, 1821 (first Christmas day in the set- 
tlement), My husband went to the river and found at Mc- 


George's a large collection of men, principally the candidates 
for the new county which is said to be just laid off. McG 
had the only barrel of cider in town, which I suppose to 
have cost about $7.00. In the liberality of the candidates the 
barrel was unheaded and all promiscuously drank; and it 
being froze the dog irons were put in red hot * * * My hus- 
band found a great degree of accommodation and courtesy 
among all classes. The candidates leading the concourse 
from one place to another until sundown. 

"Mrs. Bradley (wife of Henry, the carpenter) spent the day 
with me and Mrs. Paxton dined with us, then we both went 
home with Mrs. Paxton, took tea and sat awhile — went home 
and read a chapter in my Bible." Certainly this was a quiet 
celebration of Christmas day when compared with that of the 
men at McGeorge's ! 

"December 26th. Went to singing school and suffered very 
much with the cold. Word has come that Mr. Blake has ar- 
rived from Corydon ; my husband has gone to see him. When 
I write a few more lines I will go myself, although I feel 
much fatigued; it has been so long a time since I have heard 
the fiddle played that I think it would sound very melodious." 

Although I have no recollection of Mr. Blake I feel that 
I knew him because he was the warm friend of other genera- 
tions of my family. I am for that reason quoting somewhat at 
length from Berry Sulgrove's tribute to him. "Mr. Blake's 
history for fifty years was the history of Indianapolis and no 
citizen has ever been more closely identified with the rise and 
progress of the city than he. When Kossuth, the distinguished 
Hungarian, visited Indianapolis, when the soldiers returned 
from the Mexican war, and when they came home from the 
South, Mr. Blake was the marshal of the day ; no public pag- 
eant seemed complete without him. His ambition to become 
a useful citizen and a public benefactor outweighed all other 


The Blake homestead stood at the northwest corner of 
North and Tennessee streets (the latter now Capitol avenue), 
and was a delightful old place with its sheltered brick-paved 
porch, its Dutch gable and the riot of vines over all. 

When I visited the homestead Mrs. Blake met me on the 
porch and taking me by the hand lead me into the quaint old 
parlor to see her cherished possession, the bridal gift of her 
husband, the antiquated piano, now stained and darkened with 
age. It had been brought over the mountains from Baltimore 
in 1831 and was the first instrument of its kind in the new 
settlement. The pleasure her playing gave was long re- 
membered by Mrs. Blake's friends. Perhaps "Uncle Jimmie, ,, 
as he was affectionately called, took his fiddle from its box 
and joined in the music — I wish I might have heard the duets 
they played, this Hoosier Darby and Joan! 

Mrs. Blake and her playing at the old piano inspired Dan 
Paine to write his poem "Da Capo," one of the best of our 
local productions. To revive your memory of it I quote a 
stanza or two : 

"She sat at the old piano 
Her fingers thin and pale 
Ran over the yellow key-board 
The chords of a minor scale. 

Her hands were withered and shrunken, 
Her form with age was bent; 
They seemed twin spirits in look and tone; 
Herself and the instrument. 

For the instrument quaint and olden 
With its single tremulous strings, 
Was little more than a spirit, 
And its tone seemed a whirr of wings." 



The diary— "January the first, 1822. My husband and I 
have been invited to attend a party at John Wyant's today at 
3 o'clock. I am unable to tell the aggregate of the happiness 
we shall enjoy. 

"Mr. Hogden came for us with a carnage and carried us 

/ to Mr. Wyant's house at the river. Mr. Russell played a few 

tunes on the fiddle and we danced a few reels ; returned home 

about 12 o'clock not much fatigued. 20 couples were present." 

Going to a party in a carriage suggests a degree of luxury 
not yet attained by the towns people we would suppose; 
we find our conjecture is correct for Mrs. Martin, daughter 
of George Smith, the first publisher, and mother of Mrs. Gor- 
don Tanner, Sr., also went to the ball in H^gden's carriage 
which she describes as "a great lumbering thing similar to 
the mud wagons used in stage coach days, when an ordinary 
stage could not navigate the flooded roads." 

An incident occurred at this first dance and New Year's ball 
in the settlement one historian relates "which indicates a 
stronger matrimonial exclusiveness among some of the pio- 
neers than prevails at the present day." 

Mr. Wyant's tavern was a double cabin ; while the landlord 
was in t'other house, as the second cabin was called, the guests 
had been welcomed in the room to the right of the porch 
which divided the tavern. It was time for the ball to com- 
mence and the guests grew impatient at the delay. One pol- 
ished gentleman from Kentucky, remembering his early train- 
ing beyond the Ohio river, invited his hostess to open the 
ball with him. Mrs. Wyant accepted his invitaton with eager- 
ness and the couple was moving gracefully across the danc- 
ing floor when the lady's husband returned from t'other house. 
His manner at once indicated disapproval of the scene which 
met his gaze. Going to the end of the room where Col. Rus- 
sell sat with his fiddle poised on his shoulder he ordered him 


to cease playing ; then turning to the surprised company he said 
with sterness, "As far as I and my wife are concerned we are 
able to do our own dancing ; it would look better for every man 
to follow our example and dance with his own wife ; those of 
you who are so unfortunate as to have none can dance with 
the gals." 

Col. Russell, the fiddler for the joyous occasion, was the 
first merchant of the settlement. At his store trade was car- 
ried on on a basis of barter making it possible to do business 
with a small amount of ready money. Here the needs of the 
town were supplied from a stock consisting of dry goods, 
queensware, hardware and groceries. Cash was given for 
hides and furs of every description. The fur trade did not 
fall off for many years, and it is interesting to note, in this 
connection, that Indianapolis became the center of it for a 
large part of the state and for some distance beyond its bor- 

Col. Russell arrived from Kentucky in May, 1821, by the 
first keel boat to reach this point on White River. He was 
in turn county sheriff, militia officer and post master. More- 
over, he was a fiddler of note and consequently in demand for 
all the early entertainments. 

On January 22, 1822, the writer of the diary attended the 
wedding of Miss Patsy Chinn and Mr. Uriah Gates, probably 
the second wedding in the place. 

As the two rooms of the cabin in which the ceremony was 
to take place were filled with guests she tells us the bride 
was compelled to make her toilet in the smoke house; from 
this improvised dressing room the bridegroom escorted her to 
the waiting company in the cabin. After the ceremony a wed- 
ding dinner was served, the table groaning under a feast the 
billionaire of today would have difficulty in duplicating. The 
piece de resistance was a fine saddle of venison placed in the 


middle of the table; two large fat wild turkeys were at either 
end, still steaming hot from the clay oven in which they had 
been roasted ; between the venison and the turkeys were pump- 
kin, chicken and various other pies. 

From the side table or puncheon, the bride's mother assist- 
ed by the old ladies, was serving coffee ladled from a large 
sugar kettle which was hanging from the crane in the open 
fireplace. Maple sugar was used for sweetening and rich 
cream was plentiful. 

In celebration of the wedding dancing continued for two 

The infare or housewarming given by the newly married 
couple was no doubt a part of this revelry, for Edward Eg- 
gleston in "Roxy" says, "there could be no wedding in a 
Hoosier village without an infare on the following day. 

In those days the faring into the house of the bridegrooms' 
parents was observed with great rejoicing." 

For several days following the festivities attending Miss 
Chinn's wedding we find no record in the diary. The entry 
which follows makes clear the reason. "My husband and I 
came home after daylight the second day, slept until after- 
noon and then went back and put in another night. I have 
been asked to a quilting party but have declined since I do 
not think it proper to go when I am so weary." 

Visiting one's neighbors was the most frequent social pleas- 
ure, spending the day or going to dinner when the guest ar- 
rived in season to assist in the preparation of the meal and 
had no pressing engagement to call her away before she had 
helped wash the dishes and put the room to rights. The chil- 
dren were invariably included in these invitations for the 
mother of a family was nurse as well as cook, house maid and 
seamstress. A few days after Miss Chinn's wedding our lady 
of the diary spends the day with Mrs. Hervey Bates, pre- 


sumably to talk over the bride's outfit, the wedding dinner and 
the furnishings of the cabin into which she had fared. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bates came to the new settlement, February 
22, 1822. On the day of their arrival Mr. Bates as first 
sheriff of Marion County, appointed by Governor Jennings, 
issued a proclamation for the first election ever held in the 
New Purchase. 

The office of sheriff was the only political office Mr. Bates 
ever filled although his friends frequently besought him to 
accept various public offices, he devoted himself to mercantile 
pursuits ; all the important enterprises of the town were aided 
by his energy and ability. Among these undertakings the 
Bates House (northwest corner of Washington and Illinois 
streets), built in 1852, had more than local fame; it was 
known as one of the most complete and elegant hostelries 
in the West. 

Housing as it did for many years, the distinguished men 
who came to the city it no doubt considered Lincoln, the first 
president elect to visit Indianapolis, its most distinguished 
guest, and his speech from the Washington street balcony the 
greatest event in its history. 

Much excitement, it is recorded, preceded and attended the 
first election for which Sheriff Bates issued the proclamation. 

There were at this time no political parties, no conventions, 
no caucuses, and the occasion resolved itself into a free fight 
for all comers. The combatants, it has been reported, were 
ranged under the titles of Whitewater and Kentucky. The 
emigration from these two sections was simultaneous and each 
wished to control the result. It was a state rather than a local 
contest ; the interest centered in the office of clerk, considered 
the most important in the county. 

James M. Ray, Whitewater's successful candidate, came to 
Indianapolis in the fall of '21. 


A friend's estimate places him "among the foremost men 
here, quiet, unobtrusive, vigilant, never idle, his word as good 
as another man's oath." 

Kentucky's candidate, Morris Morris, was also a pioneer of 
'21. He had the great advantage of a thorough English edu- 
cation, unusual in the settlement. He possessed a gentleness 
combined with decision, which is indeed a rare combination. 
It is a singular coincidence that Morris Morris and his son, 
Thomas A. Morris, served as commissioners for both State 
Houses. The father for the structure of 1835, modeled after 
the Parthenon, where the body of Lincoln laid in state on a 
day never to be forgotten by those of us who looked upon his 

The election was held on the first day of April, 1822. The 
close of the day must have brought relief to the writer of the 
diary, for she says, "I spent the time very unsatisfactorily; 
there were so many candidates coming in and out I could 
neither read, write or do anything else." 

"Friday, April 12, 1822.— Spent the afternoon at Mr. Buck- 
ner's when I got the sight of a young lady from Kentucky; 
at a distance she looked very flashy and carried a very high 
head. I did not have the pleasure of meeting her; perhaps if 
I had I would have found the lady as empty as myself." 

"April 13. — Mr. Levington and some other men have been 
10 miles up the river on the public lands cutting saw logs for 
several weeks. They made a contract with Daniel Yandes to 
deliver 2,000 logs at 1 dollar per piece, and since the rain 
the saw logs are coming down the river." 

This transaction suggests carrying coals to Newcastle for 
the town site was full of fine timber; but it was probably 
easier to float the logs down the river than to get them to the 
mill over land. 


In the preceding fall the State Agent had offered the tim- 
ber in the street to anyone who would cut it. Lismund Basye, 
justice of the peace, was tempted by the offer and undertook 
the clearing of Washington street; much timber was cut and 
the only thoroughfare in the settlement blocked with it. 

Thereupon all the townspeople turned out and cleared a 
roadway by huge bonfires. Apropos of this blockade of 
traffic Mr. Blake perpetuated his celebrated joke: "The early 
settlers spent their evenings one winter cutting and rolling 
logs in Washington street. They employed two or three hun- 
dred negroes to cut the logs in two and keep the heaps 
burning." A diagram must accompany this joke and ex- 
plain it. The word "nigger" means to the backwoodsman a 
small log placed when blazing, across large logs to fire them ; 
by tending the fire so made, large logs are divided more 
quickly than by an ax — consequently "a nigger in a wood- 
pile" means something which destroys it and not, as I had 
supposed, our African brother. 

Daniel Yandes, for whom the logs were cut up the river, 
was called the pioneer mill builder; he built a saw and grist 
mill, a tannery and in 1833 with Samuel Merrill, established 
the first cotton spinning factory in this region. 

Hje brought $4,000 with him when he came to the settle- 
ment in the spring of '21, which constituted him for many 
years the largest capitalist in the place. He was first treasurer 
of Marion County. Samuel Merrill's part in the pageant of 
the State Centennial is still fresh in our minds ; he was the first 
state treasurer and served in both capitals, coming from 
Cory don to Indianapolis in 1824, when William Hendricks 
was Governor. 

Mr. Merrill was one of our foremost pioneers, a man of 
high attainments and ideals. 


Nicholas McCarty, friend and neighbor of Daniel Yandes, 
reached the settlement in 1823. Besides his mercantile business 
he took large contracts for Indian supplies; he was familiar 
with the dialects of the tribes on the Miami Reservation ; he 
became interested in silk growing and the manufacture of 

He was an unostentatious man of great personal popularity. 

The diary of April, 1822: "Sunday, 21st— Walked down to 
the river where I saw many people crossing the ferry. Madam 
Wick, Mrs. Carter and I had the pleasure of riding up the 
river to the mouth of Fall Creek and back again to the ferry 
in the flat." 

Flat boats loaded with provisions for the Southern market 
came down the river from a point one hundred and thirty 
miles above Indianapolis, when the water was high, but at 
this day navigation of the river has become a mere jest. 

We smile when we read the following from resolutions 
adopted by a citizens' committee at the time of the arrival of 
the steamboat Gen. Hanna from Cincinnati, in 1831 : 

"The arrival of the Gen. Hanna should be viewed by the 
citizens of the White river country, and of our state at large 
as a proud triumph and as a fair and unanswerable demon- 
stration of the fact that our beautiful river is susceptible of 
safe navigaton for steam vessels of a much larger class than 
was anticipated by the most sanguine. Resolved that Capt. 
Blythe's company of artillery be invited to parade on this 
day at 2 o'clock near the boat to fire a salute in honor of the 

Perhaps a number who are here today remember the sad 
fate of the Gov. Morton, the side wheeler licensed to carry on 
the coasting trade. For thirteen months she was the pride and 
joy of every citizen of the town, but on the 6th of August, 


1866, her all too short existence ended when she sank at 
her moorings below the old National Bridge. 

Mrs. Carter, one of the ladies referred to in the ride up 
the river, was the wife of Major Thomas Carter, the auctioneer 
at the memorable sale of town lots October 8 to 12, 1821, and 
tavern keeper as well. He built a log tavern just west of the 
present News building and called it the Rose Bush. 

Here the first theatrical performance of the town was given, 
December 31, 1823, by a Mr. and Mrs. Smith, purporting to 
be directly from the New York theaters. Neither actor was 
less than fifty, one witness of their performance states. "They 
essayed the principal roles in 'The Jealous Lovers,' and 
'Lord, What a Snow Storm in May and June/ Admittance, 
25 cents. No music, at first because the fiddle strings broke. 
Russell and Bolton were requested by our host, a strict Bap- 
tist, to play nothing but note tunes or psalms, as he called 

Encouraged by their reception the Smiths filled a return 
engagement the next summer, but they made the awful mis- 
take of advertising in the Gazette and not in The Censor, 
whereupon the editor of The Censor sarcastically observes: 
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith, whose performances were treated with 
so much contempt and ridicule last winter, arrived in town a 
few days ago and commenced their performance last night. 
* * * The encouragement of this company, whose exhibition 
we understand (for we have never witnessed them) afford 
neither instruction nor rational entertainment, would be a 
reproach upon our understandings and would evince a want 
of taste and discrimination in our citizens which we are proud 
to say does not exist." After such a blasting newspaper ar- 
ticle, it is not surprising to learn that "Smith and his company 
have absconded without taking from us any of our cash." 
Mr. Bolton, husband of the poetess, Sarah T. Bolton, also wit- 


nessed the performance referred to. Hie says Mrs. Smith, who 
was at least sixty years old, in addition to her part in the 
play, sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and danced a horn- 
pipe, blindfolded, among eggs. In these days of soaring 
prices this act would certainly be a dangerous and costly per- 

But Madam Wick is still waiting on the flat boat to be 
introduced. She was the wife of William W. Wick, elected 
the first judge by the Legislature at Corydon in the winter 
of 1821-22. 

The first session of the Circuit Court, at which Judge Wick 
presided, was held in a private house at Indianapolis, Septem- 
ber 26, 1822. After the Judge, Associate Judges and other 
officers of the Court had presented their commissions and 
taken the oath of office, including the oath against duelling, 
which was very stringent, the following lawyers were ad- 
mitted to practice: Calvin Fletcher, Hiram M. Curry, Obed 
Foote, Harvey Gregg, of Indianapolis, Daniel B. Wick, Oliver 
H, Smith, James Noble, James Rairiden, James Whitcomb 
and Lot Bloomfield, from the state. 

The order of business was as follows: First, selection of 
grand jurors and appointment of prosecuting attorney; sec- 
ond, establishment of prison bounds for insolvent debtors : 
third, naturalization of Richard Good, "lately from Cork in 
the Kingdom of Ireland," according to his own statement ; 
fourth, granting a tavern license to John Hawkins, the first 
license granted for this purpose in Marion county. (Haw- 
kins' tavern was situated where the Lombard building stands.) 

So ended the first day of court in the new settlement. 

Calvin Fletcher, appointed first prosecuting attorney, 
reached here in the fall of 1821. He had a prominent part in 
the town's advancement, laboring unceasingly with his 
friends, Ovid Butler, Caleb Mills, Bishop E. R. Ames and 


others for the establishment of free schools, but not until 
April 25, 1853, were such schools opened in Indianapolis. On 
that date a code of rules and regulations prepared by Mr. 
Fletcher was adopted ; it constitutes the basis of the code in 
force in the schools at the present day. 

Throughout the period of the civil war Governor Morton 
often appealed to Mr. Fletcher, then a leading banker, for 
advice and aid. On one notable occasion a large sum of 
money was needed to pay off bounties so that soldiers might 
be quickly sent to the front. In this emergency the Gov- 
ernor went to his friend, saying, "There is urgent need of 
ready money. What can be done?" Instantly came the re- 
ply, "What did you bring to carry it in?" The two men 
looked about for a receptacle. A market basket near at hand 
caught their eyes. This was filled with money and, lifting it 
to his arm, the Governor carried away a heavy load, but a 
lighter heart. 

The diary: "Spent the night with Madam Wick, also had 
tea; her table was spread with the fruits of her industry; 
went home early, set Mr. B. (Mr. James Blake, a boarder) 
gathering bean sticks, got some eggs from Mrs. Alec Wilson 
to set a hen. Commenced a roundabout to go with the panta- 
loons I had made.. 

July 1. There has been a great deal of talk about celebrat- 
ing the Fourth. My husband is this day engaged in writing 
toasts for the celebration. 

Thursday, the Fourth of July, 1822 (the first observed in 
the settlement). There appears to be a great stir and liveli- 
ness among the people ; the men had a barbecue, a buck killed 
by Robert Harding yesterday, and dined under the green trees 
at the west end of Washington street, on the Military Re- 

The celebration opened with a sermon by Rev. John Mc- 


Clung, a New Light, probably the first preacher to settle in 
Indianapolis ; a brief speech followed the reading of the Dec- 
laration of Independence by Judge Wick; Washington's In- 
augural Address, by Squire Obed Foote ; Washington's Fare- 
well Address, by John Hawkins, and a prayer and benedic- 
tion by the Rev. Robert Brenton. 

Toasts, fourteen in number, by Calvin Fletcher finished the 
programme. I quote the last one: "Indianapolis, may it not 
prove itself unworthy the honor the state has conferred upon 
it by making it the capital." 

It is now almost a hundred years since this toast was given 
at the first Fourth of July celebration held in the new capital. 
The centennial of the capital in the wilderness approaches. 
Without delay we should begin our preparations for its ob- 
servance. Let there be much deliberation by those charged 
with this important matter before the form of celebration is 
decided upon. 

Let us commemorate the founding of the town with a 
memorial of lasting value, with a memorial that shall prove 
beyond question that Indianapolis is worthy of the honor con- 
ferred upon it one hundred years ago, when it was made the 
capital of the state. 

As a fitting ending to the first Fourth of July celebration, 
the settlers held a ball at Jacob R. Crumbaugh's house (Crum- 
baugh was a justice of the peace), situated at the corner of 
Missouri and Market streets. There were no social divid- 
ing lines, no caste distinctions at this time, we may be sure, 
for the carpenter danced with the postmaster's wife and the 
judge lead out the butcher's lady on this occasion. Until 1828 
military and civic organizations celebrated the Fourth with 
firing of salutes, parades, speeches, dinners, etc. ; from that 
time, however, for a quarter of a century, a new order of ob- 
servance prevailed. The Sabbath school procession becam* 


the great event of the day ; it usually formed on Circle street 
and marched to the grove in the State House yard; here, be- 
fore disbanding, the female teachers and the scholars, both 
male and female, were treated to refreshments of rusk and 
water, while the men concluded their celebration with a din- 
ner in the sugar grove at the east end of the town, as far 
removed as possible from those who observed the day in a 
more ascetic manner by fasting on rusk and water. 

The August entries in the dairy indicate much sickness 
among the people; there were frequent heavy rains and the 
water stood for months in the low spots of the ravines which 
traversed the town. 

Malarial diseases followed. In fact, the ague was so prom- 
inent a feature of early Indianapolis that Mr. Dunn says it 
calls for special notice as one of the institutions of the place. 
Most of the settlers who suffered with it could say, as Demas 
McFarland did, that he ''served a regular apprenticeship at 
the ague and worked at journey work at the chills and fever." 

Mr. Demas McFarland, farmer, arrived in 1821. Many 
years after this date his daughters, maiden ladies, kept a 
school in the brick house on St. Clair street recently torn 
down to make way for the new Public Library. In this school 
the pupils learned the capitals of the states by singing, in- 
stead of reciting the lesson. 

Because of the existing unhealthy conditions, it was for- 
tunate for the settlers that five physicians established offices 
in Indianapolis at an early date. They were Drs. Mitchell, 
Scudder, Cool, Dunlap and Coe. 

Dr. Mitchell was a very corpulent man, who never rode 
his horse out of a walk; he was made surgeon of the bat- 
talion raised in the town at the time of the Black Hawk war. 

Young Dr. Scudder gave promise of a brilliant pro- 
fessional career, which was cut short by his death in 1829; 


his colleagues showed their respect for his memory by wear- 
ing bands of crepe on their sleeves for thirty days. 

Dr. Jonathan Cool, the best educated of them all, was a 
Princeton graduate and classmate of Judge Blackford. Dr. 
Cool made the first protest against the heroic doses of medi- 
cine given in those days. 

Dr. Livingston Dunlap was the only surgeon in the town 
until Dr. Sanders came in 1830. Dr. Dunlap served in many 
civic offices and was professor of theory and practice in the 
Central Medical College. He had a large practice and his 
death in 1862 was widely lamented. 

Dr. Isaac Coe came to the settlement in the spring of 1821. 
His home was near the Patterson homestead and the present 
City Hospital. He is remembered for his free use of calomel 
and the lancet. Mrs. Jane Merrill Ketcham, one of his patients 
in her childhood, says "it is no exaggeration to say that his 
pills were as large as cherries ; twenty grains of calomel was 
a common dose and antimony until one was sure he was 

Dr. Coe was a charter member of the First Presbyterian 
Church, and his many years of service were recalled when. 
in 1901, the boxes in the corner stone of the church at the 
southwest corner of Pennsylvania and New York streets were 
opened on the clearing of the square for the Federal Build- 
ing. The first box transferred from its resting place in the 
building of 1843, located on the Circle, contained the history 
of the church complete from 1821 to 1841 in Dr. Coe's hand- 
writing, a period covering, among others, the pastorates of 
the Revs. David C. Proctor, George Bush, William A. Holli- 
day and Phineas D. Gurley. The church history of later 
years was found in the second box, with the names of the 
elders of 1866, Thomas H. Sharpe, Thomas Maclntire, Wil- 
liam Sheets and Benjamin Hkrrison. The box also contained 


ilhtat Se- 

this solemn injunction: "If this corner stone shall ever be 
displaced and these lines come before any human eyes in a 
coming generation, let whosoever may touch these memorials 
of those who have gone before them be assured that they in- 
herit not only the toils but the prayers of many of the builders 
of this church." 

Dr. Coe was the founder of Union Sunday School, which 
the writer of the diary mentions as early as June 16, 1822. 
This school was held in the cabinet shop of Caleb Scudder, 
which adjoined his dwelling on West Washington street, op- 
posite the State House. Mr. Scudder is one of the most in- 
teresting of the early characters. Specimens of his cabinet 
work are prized today in Indianapolis homes. 

Again I open the diary and find that busy autumn days 
are spent in gathering fruits and vegetables for winter use, in 
spinning wool for socks, in making a quilted petticoat. On 
an idle Sunday Thompson's Seasons was enjoyed and the 
Ladies' Casket read from cover to cover. Winter brought cold 
and snow ; the wife was anxious for her husband who rode 
the distant circuit with Judge Wick. 

But spring came at last and the maple sugar camp was 
opened. His son Miles later described the sugar-making as 
follows : 

"In our pasture maple trees abounded. These, with the first 
thaw of the opening year, were tapped and sugar making be- 
gan. Mother was the factotum in this business, but she car- 
ried it on very- differently from the careless manner of most 
Hoosiers. Instead of sugar troughs, which were liable to 
stain the sap, she had clean crocks placed under the spiles. 
The sugar water when collected was carried to a half-faced 
camp and poured into kettles suspended by the side of a huge 
oak log. There, when the boiling was going on, mother stood 
and stirred and tasted and added until all was reduced to a 

2 6 5" 

thick syrup. This was carried to the house, reboiled and 
grained, lest in the woods the flying pollen and early insects 
should mar the unsullied whiteness of the sugar. Sugar mak- 
ing time was a hey day for us boys. We scampered among 
the trees, playing Indian and hide and go seek. Mother 
showed us how to make whistles from the pawpaw bushes and 
pointed out the bloodroot, the snake root and ginseng which 
grew near the sugar camp." 

Ginseng was wanted for the Chinese trade; it brought six 
cents a pound; it was very common in the woods and much 
of it was gathered, so that the sale of it developed to a con- 
siderable extent. 

Thursday, March 6, 1823. "I was solicited to attend a tea 
party at Mrs. Walpole's. Am making a chemise. Com- 
menced reading The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey, a ro- 
mance'' (the only one ever mentioned in the diary). 

"December 1, 1823. Some Indians in with bear meat and 
venison; loins, 12^ cents apiece. Captain John, a Wyandot 
chief, is among the number." Captain John was considered a 
dangerous man, but no charges were ever brought against 
him, although he lived about the settlement many years. He 
made his home in a hollow sycamore log on the east bank of 
the river. Parties of Indians often visited the settlement with 
game to sell. Besides deer, wild turkey and bear, the small 
fur-bearing animals were abundant. There were waterfowl of 
all kinds and swans were seen on the river on several occa- 
sions. Wildcats and wolves were also not uncommon. Dr. 
William H. Wishard encountered a pack of wolves in 1826: 
he had been sent, when a boy, from his home in Morgan 
County to get meal at the old bayou mill at Indianapolis, 
starting home after dark through the dense forest, young 
Wishard was confronted by a pack of wolves, which had 


killed a deer near the road, and had difficulty in getting away 
from them. 

The debating club formed a diversion for the men of the 
settlement, with the merits of the presidential candidates 
oftentimes as election approached the favorite topic of debate. 
In that connection, the writer of the diary makes the follow- 
ing entry : "My husband attended the debating club last night 
and spoke of Henry Clay, whom he had seen in Ohio before 
we came to Indiana. I have copied what he said about Clay : 
4 1 had the pleasure of measuring in my mind the height, 
breadth, features and politeness of the renowned Henry Clay, 
the Cicero, at least so pronounced by the wisdom of the U. 
S. A. ; yet, for the want of taste and discernment, and being 
destitute of the scales by which we can rightly judge of human 
greatness, I shall have pronounced him only a common man. 
His manner of address is more indicative of politeness than 
of greatness and wisdom. I repeat having seen him, I shall 
have pronounced him only a common man.' ' 

''Wednesday, December 24, 1823. My husband and I at- 
tended a ball at Washington Hall ; the day was clear and cold. 
Thirty couples were present. The supper was splendid and 
everything surpassingly agreeable." 

"We are cooking and preparing for camp meeting/' This 
entry refers to the meeting held on the Three Notch road in 
a rolling tract of ground covered by large oak trees, five miles 
south of town. "I started this morning on Pomp (the favor- 
ite cream colored horse), with E. on the pillion behind me; 
found many already there, although we had started early. It 
was a joyful time, the sky was so blue, the trees were so 
green and the sweet singing made me happy beyond express- 

"As we rode home we met Brother Armstrong riding slowly 


along, with a red silk handkerchief thrown over his head, 
singing a stirring Methodist hymn. 

"We saw deer and turkey tracks along the way and once 
two bucks, with their antlers in the velvet, bounded across 
the road." 

The first period of the settlement draws to a close. The 
state offices have at last been moved from Corydon and the 
Legislature is about to meet in the new capital, which to this 
time has had only the honor of the name. 

The second period of the settlement opens with new and 
interesting events to record, but we search in vain for further 
entries in the diary. 

With increasing family cares, the writer has found little 
time to devote to her journal and the entries become brief and 
infrequent, until at last they cease altogether as the pen drops 
from the busy fingers. 

The day is not long enough for the home maker to finish 
the work of the household and her labors are continued into 
the night. Then the finished patchwork quilt is taken out 
of the frame and spread upon the big bed in the corner; and 
the boys are tucked into the trundle bed, drawn out to re- 
ceive their tired bodies. 

A fresh log is laid on the red coals in the fireplace ; the 
lighted candle is placed on the stand by the window to guide 
the homeward steps of the husband and father. 

The evening tasks are finished, finished except one. 

With a sigh of relief, the mother, a pioneer of the Capital 
in the Wilderness,' bends over her baby's cradle and sings 
him to sleep with a soothing lullaby ; with this sweet music my 
Allegro ceases. 



This paper was originally read before the ninth annual 
session of the Indiana Sanitary and Water Supply Association 
in February, 1916, as a contribution to the Centennial program 
of that Association. The historical facts of the paper, so far 
as they pertain to the earlier years of the last century, have 
been gathered from the files of the Western Sun, published 
at Vincennes, in the period from 1808 to 1820, and of the 
Indiana Republican and Madison Courier, published at Madi- 
son from 1824 to 1850. Incomplete files of these earliest 
newspapers of the State are preserved in the State Library. 
Constituting as they do the earliest and most accurate record 
of events as they transpired within the State, these news- 
paper files should be considered one of the priceless possessions 
of the State to be preserved to future generations. Many of 
the events of a later period as noted in the paper have been 
gathered from the published annual Transactions of the In- 
diana State Medical Society, which cover the period irom 1849 
to 1907. So far as known, there is but one complete set of 
these transactions, that on file in the Indianapolis City Library. 
The bringing together of this complete series represents 
several years of patient effort on the part of Dr. Luther D. 
Waterman, of Indianapolis, who in the late years of his life 
set himself the task of collecting and preserving this most 
interesting and valuable record of the medical history of the 
State. Dr. Waterman related to the writer how, when he 
had finally secured a copy of each annual publication but one 

272 One Hundred Years in 

and had almost despaired of being able to find the missing 
number, he was given a clue that led to the library of one of 
the early physicians of Louisville, and from there to the home 
of a granddaughter of this physician far up in the mountainous 
backwoods of Kentucky, where he was rewarded by securing 
a copy of the coveted number. 

The subject of this paper is in reality a misnomer, since 
there has not been in Indiana a century of progress in public 
health administration. Public health is synonymous with pre- 
ventive medicine, and preventive medicine had its real begin- 
ning with the discoveries of Pasteur, whose active life period 
was from 1860 to 1890. Pasteur proved that so-called con- 
tagious diseases were due to germs, mostly minute vegetable 
organisms, and he said, "It is within the power of man to 
drive all contagious and infectious diseases from the earth." 
Upon the demonstration and acceptance of this truth is based 
preventive medicine and public health as we know it today. 
A knowledge of germs and the germ cause of disease was 
denied the early settlers of Indiana, who, in addition to their 
task of subduing nature and hewing out a civilization, were 
compelled to fight against the ravages of cholera, smallpox, 
ague, typhoid, consumption, and many other mysterious dis- 
ease forms, including that strange medical vagary known as 
"milk sick." The theories advanced and beliefs held as to 
the origin of and reasons for disease were many, varied and 
interesting. One firmly rooted and widespread belief which 
even yet is not wholly eradicated from the Hoosier mind, was 
that disease was sent by an offended Diety as punishment for 
sins. Another belief was in the "miasm," an invisible and 
indefinable something that arose from damp soil and from 
swamps, especially at night. A considerable remnant of this 
belief still persists among us in our ignorant fear of night 
air. Another belief was that the so-called diseases of child- 

Public Health in Indiana 273 

hood — measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, etc.— were both 
inevitable and immutable, and to attempt to escape them would 
be to fly in the face of Providence. Hence when the weather 
was considered seasonable and the blood of the possible vic- 
tim was thought to be in good condition, children were de- 
liberately exposed to these diseases. 1 Even this belief is fre- 
quently encountered in parents and occasionally in physicians 
in Indiana today. 

The first white settlement in what is now Indiana was at 
Vincennes. In the issue of the Western Sun, published at 
Vincennes, of August 20, 1808, is to be found the first sum- 
mons to community effort in behalf of public health, and 
doubtless the first newspaper protest against the indolence and 
inefficiency of "chair warming" town officials. In a vigorous 
editorial the Sun asserts that the cause of the ague and fever 
and bilious complaints affecting the town is to be found in 
the putrefaction of grass growing in the river opposite the 
village. The editor says : "A few hours' labor of the people 
of the town would remove the nuisance, and yet from the 
time the place has been inhabited, not a solitary exertion has 
been made to remove a sprig of the grass. Who and where 
are the trustees of the town ? What are they doing and what 
is their duty? Is not the preservation of the health of the 

1 It is not strange that these beliefs persisted when leading authorities failed for a long 
time to agree as to the contagiousness of disease. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes read a 
paper in 1843 on the contagiousness of puerperal fever. The essence of this paper was 
that "The disease known as puerperal fever is so far contagious as to be frequently 
carried from patient to patient by physicians and nurses." Professor Hugh Lenox Hodge, 
of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1852, in a discussion of this statement made by 
Dr. Holmes, took a distinctly opposite view. He says: "The result of the whole 
discussion will, I trust, divest your minds of the overpowering dread that you can ever 
convey, in any possible manner, a horrible virus so destructive in- its effects and so 
mysterious in its operation as that attributed to puerperal fever." Professor Charles D. 
Meigs, of Jefferson Medical College, in the same year, 1852, published the following in 
reference to causes of puerperal fever: "I prefer to attribute them to accident, or 
Providence, of which I can form a conception, rather than to a contagion of which I 
cannot form any clear idea, at least as to this particular malady." 

274 One Hundred Years in 

town an important branch of it? And is it not well recollected 
that the town was incorporated with a view expressly to 
that object? Will the people incur the risk of a four or five 
weeks' illness rather than employ a few hours in removing 
the cause that will inevitably produce it? If they will, they 
really deserve the curses of Heaven in every shape in which 
they can be inflicted." 

In the same paper, under date of September 3, 1808, the 
editor says : "It is also not uncommon to see carcasses of 
horses, dogs, hogs, etc., lying in the streets and on the common 
near the village. This is not only highly offensive, but very 
injurious to the health of the inhabitants. As to cleanliness, 
the village is no better than an Indian camp. It is not recol- 
lected that the trustees of the town have taken any measures to 
remedy the above abuses, or if they have they have not been 
carried into effect." For an editor who found it necessary to 
accept pork and flax on subscription, and at a time when the 
gentle art of dueling was still in vogue, the above exhibits a 
degree of editorial courage and zeal for the cause of public 
health scarcely attained by the modern press. 

The first Health Ordinance in Indiana was passed by the 
trustees of the borough of Vincennes, March 19, 1819, three 
years after the admission of Indiana as a State. This ordi- 
nance was in reality a blanket ordinance, covering a variety 
of nuisances against the public comfort and welfare. Accord- 
ing to Section 1, a fine of five dollars was imposed on any 
person who cast any garbage or other offensive matter on any 
of the streets within the borough or so near thereto as to annoy 
the inhabitants in the neighborhood thereof. Section 2 pro- 
vided that it "shall be the duty of the town constable to remove 
or cause to be removed all nuisances from the streets, and his 
further duty to give such person and persons as caused the 
nuisance, notice thereof and demand of him, her or them a 

Public Health in Indiana 275 

reasonable compensation for the time, trouble and expense 
of having removed the same, and if he, she or they neglect 
or refuse to pay the said constable as herein required, he shall 
immediately proceed to recover the same before any justice 
of the peace within this borough, together with the fine im- 
posed by the first section." The town constable, therefore, 
became the first health officer and sanitarian in Indiana. The 
constable health officer of Vincennes doubtless soon found 
himself a busy official, for in the summer of the following 
year, 1820, an epidemic of yellow fever occurred that for a 
time almost depopulated the town and imposed a serious check 
upon its growth. 

The first Health Ordinance in the town of Madison was 
passed August 6, 1824, and apparently had to do with the 
duties of the town marshal in keeping the streets and alleys 
free of waste and rubbish. A copy of this ordinance has not 
been found, but reference is made to it in a supplemental 
ordinance passed July 10, 1832, at a time when Asiatic cholera 
was spreading rapidly over the Eastern and Central States and 
bidding fair to reach Madison, which it did in October of the 
same year. By the terms of this supplemental ordinance the 
town was divided into two districts, separated by Mulberry 
creek. Hugh Gibson was appointed health commissioner of 
the first district and Charles Woodard of the second. These 
commissioners were "required to make personal inspection, 
once in two weeks until the 15th of November, of the premises 
of each individual and all streets, lanes and alleys, and cause 
the ordinance to prevent and remove nuisances to be carried 
into full effect." (The ordinance here referred to is that of 
August 6, 1824.) The sanitary inspection provision of this 
ordinance is far in advance of that in force in most towns and 
many cities of today and doubtless was scrupulously enforced, 
for cholera was knocking at the gates of Madison and her 

276 One Hundred Years in 

citizens were more than willing to let the "health crank" have 
his way. In spite of the ordinance cholera came. The first 
death occurred October 23, 1832, and up to noon of November 
1 there were forty-one cases with nineteen deaths. 

The first Board of Health in Madison, and probably the 
first in the State, was appointed on the 25th of October, 1832, 
following the outbreak of cholera on the 23d. The board con- 
sisted of Messrs. Jeremiah Sullivan, John Pugh and Andrew 
Collins. The duty of the board was to meet daily at 1 p. m. 
to receive the reports of physicians. Thus we have not only 
the first official health board but the first official collection of 
vital statistics within the State. 

The town of Madison passed another supplemental ordi- 
nance October 22, 1832, requiring all tenants and householders 
to keep the gutters in front of their premises clean, and to re- 
move all filth that accumulated in front of their buildings, 
under penalty of not less than $1 fine and the costs of suit. 

In the Indiana Republican, published at Madison in 1832, in 
a discussion of cholera, which was then prevalent, the follow- 
ing causes are considered : 

1. From malaria and bad air. 

2. Exhalations from the bowels of the earth. 

3. Insensible changes in the air. 

4. The comet now approaching the globe. 

5. Contagion from man to man. 

6. Invisible insects flying in the air. 

The epidemic of cholera that affected Madison in 1832, pre- 
vailed in practically every town in the State, with a death loss 
that must have been enormous. Governor Noah Noble, by 
proclamation under date of October 18, 1832, set apart the 
second Monday of November as a day "for fasting and prayer 
to an over-ruling Providence, beseeching Him to arrest the 
'progress of the disease, with its train of calamities, and in 

Public Health in Indiana 277 

behalf of the churches he bespeaks the aid and influence of 
all who believe in the efficacy of prayer." Notwithstanding 
health boards, sanitary ordinances, prayer and fasting, the 
ravages of cholera continued through the summers of 1833 
and 1834, and extended to the remotest boundaries of the 
State, ceasing only when the greater part of the population 
had either succumbed or been rendered immune by an attack 
of the disease. 

An interesting reference to what was probably the first epi- 
demic in Indianapolis is found in Historical Notes written by 
Dr. S. G. Mitchell and published in the Indianapolis Gazette 
of March 6, 1822. Under the head of intermittent and re- 
mittent fevers he says : "Out of one thousand souls in town 
on the donation and the farms surrounding the town, at least 
nine hundred sickened during the prevailing epidemic." This 
epidemic seems to have extended from about July 10 to the 
last of October, 1821, in which time twenty-five deaths oc- 
curred. This death rate applied to the present population of 
Indianapolis would mean a total of at least seven thousand 
five hundred deaths. In commenting on the natural conditions 
of the village at that time, the writer continues : "The dryness 
of the soil ; the height of the ground above the bed of the river ; 
the purity and quantity of water which every citizen obtains 
by digging wells from twenty to thirty feet, induces us with 
other reasons to expect that we may yet have a healthy town." 
This expectation, expressed almost a hundred years ago, has 
not yet been fully realized. 

We must admit that even before Pasteur's discoveries, some 
progress had been made in the prevention of diseases caused 
by germs, even though the germ cause was not recognized. 
Sir Edward Jenner's discovery of vaccination as a preventive 
of smallpox was published in 1798 in England. Knowledge 
of this discovery had reached the United States at the be- 

278 One Hundred Years in 

ginning of the Nineteenth Century, and from that time small- 
pox ceased to be the dread scourge wherever vaccination was 
practiced. Undoubtedly the first native of what is now Indiana 
to be vaccinated was Little Turtle, the famous Miami Indian 
chief. It is related that "while on a visit to Washington he 
learned of vaccination and at once had himself and the mem- 
bers of his party inoculated and carried the preventive to his 
people." This was prior to the organization of Indiana as a 
State, since the death of Little Turtle occurred in 1812. A 
splendid example of good citizenship in an untutored savage, 
that might well be emulated by the modern tribe of anti-vacci- 
nationists with safety and profit. alike to themselves and the 

In an editorial in the Republic and Banner of Madison, 
under date of June 28, 1834, appeared a list of "General 
Maxims for Health copied from a page of Sears' New Family 
Recipe Book." The following are deserving special notice 
and are just as true and worthy of acceptance today: "Rise 
early. Eat simple food. Take plenty of exercise. Eat what 
best agrees with your system and resolutely abstain from what 
hurts you, however well you may like it. Have nothing at 
all to do with quacks and do not tamper with quack medicines. 
Let those who love to be invalids drink strong green tea, eat 
pickles, preserves and hot biscuits. Have your bed chamber 
well aired and have fresh bed linen every week. It is not 
healthy to sleep in heated rooms." 

An agitation for a permanent board of health is seen in an 
editorial in the Republican and Banner of Madison, June 12, 
1834. The editorial fell on deaf ears, for in the next issue, 
June 19, 1834, the editor pays his compliments to the citizens 
of Madison in the following vigorous language : "The sugges- 
tion respecting the proposition of establishing a board of 
health for the town of Madison made by us last week, as far 

Public Health in Indiana 27 ( j 

as we are acquainted, produced no movement in the minds of 
Madison folks. This shows that they are not easily moved. 
Quite stiff. But it is our duty to make one more move on this 
subject, and we do it in order that our skirts may be clear. 
Madison ought to have a board of health, whether conscious 
of it or not." 

There was a board of health in Bloomington as early as 
August, 1833. A report from this board, signed by C. P. 
Hester as secretary and published in the Madison Republican 
and Banner for August 29, 1833, shows that cholera appeared 
in Bloomington, August 10, of that year. Among its first 
victims was a student of the college and the college was closed 
until October 1. The first board of health in Fort Wayne was 
established in 1842, with Dr. John Evans, Dr. W. H. Brooks 
and Dr. B. Sevenick as members. The first health board in 
Indianapolis was established in 1850. The historian records 
that "there was so much ill feeling among the members that 
they did no good until 1854, when Dr. Jameson became a mem- 
ber and managed to put the concern in working order." 

The intimate relation of a wholesome water supply to public 
health is now well known. In the early history of the State 
but little consideration was given to water supply except from 
the standpoint of convenience. 

In Madison, previous to 1816, there were several public 
wells in use, the main one being in front of the courthouse 
where two gentlemen, named Thomas and Kirk, were hired to 
draw water by a windlass, and children were sent to them to 
procure the family water supply. The furnishers of the mo- 
tive power were paid by the water consumers according to 
the amount of water each consumer used. There is an account 
of a construction in Madison, in 1816, which is believed to be 
the first public waterworks in the State of Indiana. An im- 
mense number of losrs were cut and a Mr. Allison had the 

280 One Hundred Years in 

contract for boring holes in them. They were fitted together 
and laid as a water main, the supply being taken from a 
spring on the hills. There were three plugs for public use at 
different street crossings, constructed of hollow posts standing 
upright, with holes bored in the side stopped with wooden 
plugs. \\ "hen a person wanted a bucket of water he pulled out 
the plug, let the bucket run full and then plugged up the hole 
again. This old log system was long in use. Finally, however, 
men engaged in hauling water with carts, in order to create a 
greater demand for hauled water and possibly to build up a 
monopoly, dug down to the logs at the foot and chopped 
holes in them. Thus ended the first public water supply in 
this State. Later on. May 3, 1826, two years after the incor- 
poration of Madison as a town, a committee was appointed to 
inquire into the expediency of furnishing the city with water. 
This resulted in the purchase by the city of private wells and 
their institution as a source of supply, both public and private. 
The records show an allowance in 1827 of expense of walling, 
cleaning and improving the public wells. On January 13, 1830, 
a notice appears, stating that proposals will be received to 
bring a sufficiency of water into the town to supply the inhabi- 
tants. Protection against fire at this time seems to have been 
the paramount reason for the urgent demand for a water sys- 
tem, and quantity was especially emphasized. However, in the 
meantime the town was awake to the protection of the public 
spring against pollution, as shown by an ordinance passed 
May 16, 1833, providing as follows : "That it shall be unlaw- 
ful for any person to wash himself or any other thing, to water 
horses or cattle of any kind, or commit any act of indecency 
in or near the public spring." The second and third sections 
provide a fine of not more than $20 nor less than 50 cents and 
the enforcement of the law by the town marshal. A contract 
was made on November 25. 1834, with John Sheets, granting 

Public Health in Indiana 281 

exclusive right and privilege of supplying the inhabitants of 
Madison with water for all purposes. A committee was ap- 
pointed on July 10, 1837, to inquire into the propriety of 
accepting the proposition of John Sheets to abandon his con- 
tract. August 18, 1837, this same committee was authorized 
to secure real estate for the purpose of building a water plant 
and to secure the relinquishment of the John Sheets contract. 
Considerable and long drawn out discussion ensued, the out- 
come of which was a proposal submitted by T. J. Godman on 
November 12, 1846, to furnish the city with water. The God- 
man agreement was accepted December 19, 1846, and was 
followed by immediate steps towards its fulfillment. The 
Madison Courier of March 2, 1850, has this to say: "The 
Messrs. T. J. Godman have laid about 5,000 feet of the inde- 
structible iron water pipe manufactured by Ball & Company, 
which proves to be the superior pipe represented in an article 
published by us. The work of laying the pipe to supply the 
city with pure spring water is progressing very rapidly." It 
may be of interest to note that the pipe here referred to was 
replaced in the year 1916 after a service of seventy years. 

Brookville had a waterworks system in operation as early 
as 1820. The town was so situated that the digging of a well 
was practically an impossibility, therefore the source of supply 
for domestic purposes was entirely from springs. Fortunately 
this early settlement was favored with several springs along 
the west fork of Whitewater, one of these being of unusual 
magnitude. Carrying and hauling water soon became tire- 
some to the people, and one of their number devised ways 
and means for a public supply delivered to their doors. Nature 
provided the gravity force back of the water, and pipes were 
constructed of green sycamore saplings of three-inch bore, 
prepared by William Adams, a practical pumpmaker, for 

282 One Hundred Years in 

which work he was paid by the foot. The plant was con- 
structed under the supervision of Messrs. McCarty and Allen, 
who represented the town. They paid Amos Butler, on whose 
ground this spring was located, $500 for the water and also 
right of way. This seems rather a small sum in this day, yet 
at the time of purchase — one hundred years ago — it was looked 
upon as a very large sum indeed. The sapling pipes were 
laid underground, and a reservoir eight feet in depth was con- 
structed of oak planks. Only one family could boast of having 
water piped into their home, the balance of the consumers 
depending on a connection or arrangement of some kind out- 
side of their houses. The story goes that those who lived 
under the hill and had private wells considered the users of 
this public supply as aristocrats, and occasionally a stray cat 
or dog, somewhat the worse for wear, was deposited in the 
reservoir to portray their feelings. The pipes, as stated, were 
made of green sycamore and were allowed to lie in the sun 
for some time previous to their installation, which caused 
them to split a short time after being in service. Finally, the 
strong gravity pressure burst the pipes and the plant ceased 
operation in the early part of 1824. Astonishing to relate, 
Brookville did not construct a second plant for public supply 
until 1890, or sixty-six years later. 

The Western Sun, of Vincennes, dated October 20, 1810, 
publishes this appeal, evidently from the editor: "The citizens 
of Vincennes are particularly requested to attend a meeting 
at the house of Peter Jones, Esq., on Saturday, the 27th inst., 
for the purpose of making some arrangements for forming a 
fire company. The importance of this object will, I hope, 
induce a general attendance." Evidently this meeting did not 
meet with the success the editor had hoped for, as no volun- 
teer department was organized until 1819, when they were 
blessed with two companies. Intense rivalry resulted and 

Public Health in Indiana 283 

when called on to perform their duty, in a great many cases, 
buildings were allowed to burn down while the rival com- 
panies were asserting their rights. In the Indiana Republican 
of Madison, on November 15, 1832, we find an ordinance pro- 
viding, "That upon fire breaking out within the corporation 
in the night, the first drayman arriving at the fire with hogs- 
head or barrel filled with water shall receive a reward of $2.00, 
and if in the daytime $1.00 therefor." The remainder of the 
ordinance provided that all draymen delivering water for the 
extinguishment of fire should receive for each barrel 12y 2 
cents, and for each hogshead 25 cents. 

The first medical society in the State was formed at Vin- 
cennes June 2, 1,817, being organized in conformity to an Act 
of the Legislature passed December 24, 1816, entitled "An 
Act to regulate the practice of physic and surgery." This 
society was known as a "district society," because it included 
only a judicial district. What may be taken as the first public 
health admonition from the organized medical profession of 
the State is found in the constitution of this first medical 
society which declared that "Physicians should never neglect 
an opportunity of fortifying and promoting the good resolu- 
tions of patients suffering under the bad effects of intemper- 
ance and vicious lives." Singularly enough, the medical pro- 
fession finds it necessary to cry out against the same physical 
evils today, after the lapse of a hundred years of progress and 
education. The first State Medical Society was formed in 
1820, at Corydon. the capital of the State. This society was 
probably short lived, as there is no further reference to it to 
be found. 

In 1845 or 1846 the doctors of Indianapolis organized what 
was called the Marion County Medical Society, which met 
once a week at the Old Governor's House, then occupying 
Governor's Circle, now Monument Place. History records no 

284 One Hundred Years in 

public health admonition or scientific discussion emanating 
from this society, but it is recorded that the members were 
much given to the consideration of fleshpots and of the con- 
tents of sundry black bottles, which may account for the 
dearth of transactions of a medico-public health nature. 

The present Indiana State Medical Society was organized 
at a medical convention in Indianapolis in June, 1849. At 
this first convention of the doctors of the State the follow- 
ing resolution was unanimously adopted : "Resolved, That a 
committee of five be appointed to memorialize the legislature 
asking them to provide by law for a registration of births, 
marriages, and deaths." Cholera was at that time raging at 
New Albany to such an extent as to prevent the delegate from 
that county, Dr. W. H. Dowling, from attending the conven- 
tion. "The mills of the gods grind slow." In 1881, thirty-two 
years after, the legislature enacted the first Vital Statistics 

At the second meeting of the State Medical Society, in 
May, 1850, it was "Resolved, That a committee of five be 
appointed in distant parts of the State, whose duty it shall be 
to report to the executive committee at least one month before 
the next annual meeting, all meteorological facts and their 
connection with epidemics. Resolved, That the executive com- 
mittee be instructed to frame from the facts a report which 
may be of general interest." 

At the meeting of the State Medical Society in May, 1851, 
Dr. George Sutton, of Aurora, presented a vivid report of the 
epidemic of cholera in Aurora and Dearborn county which 
occurred in 1849. At the beginning of the outbreak he says : 
"Large fires were made at the corners of streets in the infected 
portion of the town and cannons were fired every twenty-five 
minutes for four or five hours. This I have no doubt did 
harm." He further states that "out of ninety-seven people in 

Public Health in Indiana 285 

the infected district of Aurora, fifty-one died, while 1600 out 
of the population of 2000 left the town." 

At this meeting of the State Medical Society (1851), it 
was "Resolved, That, as the responsibilities of the medical 
profession as conservators of public health, require at their 
hands all proper efTorts to protect the community from the 
injurious effects of nostrums and patent medicines whose com- 
position and constituent elements are unknown and often unfit 
to be used ; and whereas, this growing evil which is impairing 
the health and wasting the means of the community can be 
reached and remedied in no way so well as by legislative 
enactment ; therefore, a committee of seven shall be appointed 
whose duty it shall be to prepare and present to the legislature 
a memorial setting forth concisely the evil and dangerous 
results of the vending and using as medicines, preparations 
whose constituent parts are unknown, and requesting at their 
hands such enactment as may compel under penal sanctions, 
all vendors of secret remedies to append to them a full and 
true detail of their compound elements." 

The belief of the fathers of medicine in Indiana in the 
efficacy of elaborate resolution seems to have been exceeded 
only by their childlike faith in the integrity of the legislature. 
The patent medicine fraud continues to flourish like a green 
bay tree. A sucker is said to be born every minute, a new- 
patent cure-all appears every week, the supply equals the de- 
mand, while the unholy partnership between commercialized 
medical fraud and the advertising departments of the press, 
on which the whole miserable fabric rests, continues to extort 
a constantly increasing toll of "blood money" from the frailty 
and weakness of humanity. 

An advertising page from the Madison Republican and 
Banner of 1834, can scarcely be distinguished from the adver- 
tising pages of many newspapers of today, as witness the 
following patent medicine ads : 

286 One Hundred Years in 

F. White's Toothache Drops. "The only specific ever 
offered to the public." LaMott's Celebrated Cough Drops. 
"Peculiarly adapted to the present prevailing disorders of the 
breast and lungs leading to consumption." Dr. Wm. Judkins' 
Specific Ointment, of which the proprietor says: "I feel 
grateful in finding myself the instrument and thus handing 
out such a remedial agent by the effects of which so much 
human suffering has been erased." Dr. Bloodgood's Elixir 
of Health. "A universal restorative and better adapted to the 
constitution of man than any other medicine ever offered to 
the publick." Extremely interesting is the advertisement of 
Dr. Andrew S. McCarmic at Vincennes, in 1817, who an- 
nounced that he would "charge not a cent if he suffers a third 
chill to take place if his directions are attended to." 

An effort to secure a public health and vital statistics law 
for Indiana was made by the State Medical Society in 1855, 
but the legislature was too busy with the problems and intrica- 
cies of a State banking system. In 1875, a committee was 
appointed by the State Medical Society to draft a bill for the 
establishment of a State Board of Health. This bill was in- 
troduced in the legislature but failed to pass. Again, in 1877, 
a similar bill was introduced and again failed to become a law. 
The State Medical Society then undertook voluntarily the col- 
lection of vital statistics throughout the State, and also the 
collection of facts relative to epidemic and endemic diseases. 
A State Health Commission was formed with local or district 
commissions throughout the State to collect vital and sanitary 
statistics and report the same to the State Commission. 

This effort was necessarily incomplete and inaccurate, but 
speaks eloquently of the unselfish attitude of the organized 
medical profession toward the larger public good involved in 
preventive rather than curative medicine. 

The first State Health Law, which also provided for the 

Public Health in Indiana 287 

establishment of a State Board of Health, was enacted by 
the legislature of 1881. The first meeting of the State Board 
of Health was held in the office of Governor Albert G. Por- 
ter, November 3, 1881, with the following members present: 
Dr. John W. Compton, Evansville ; Dr. Thaddeus M. Stevens, 
Indianapolis; Dr. J. M. Partridge, South Bend, and Dr. W. 
W. Vinnedge, Lafayette. Dr. Thaddeus M. Stevens was se- 
lected as the first secretary of the board and his salary was 
fixed at $1200 per year. Dr. Stevens served as secretary to 
March 15, 1883, being succeeded by Dr. E. R. Hawn, who 
served until his death, September 6, 1883. Dr. E. S. Elder 
served from September 6, 1883, to May 8, 1885 ; Dr. C. N. 
Metcalf, from May 8, 1885, to March 10, 1896, when he died. 
He was succeeded by Dr. J. N. Hurty, who was appointed 
March 12, 1896, . and who will soon round out twenty-five 
years of faithful and efficient service to the people of Indiana 
and to the cause of public health. 

Public health administration rests upon a three-fold basis : 
Legislation, organization, and education. Along all these lines 
much has been accomplished, much more remains. A few- 
years ago the American Medical Association undertook a sur- 
vey of the activities, equipment and accomplishments of the 
various State Boards of Health of the United States. Dr. 
Charles V. Chapin, Health Commissioner of Providence, R. I., 
and one of the leading sanitarians of the United States, was 
chosen for this work and made a personal study of each State 
Board of Health in the Union. The report has this to say in 
regard to Indiana : 

"The department of health in Indiana seems to have kept 
free from political interference, and its efficient executive has 
remained in the office for many years and has been able to 
follow a consistent policy. 

"A successful registration of deaths has been developed. 

288 One Hundred Years in 

and that of births is rapidly improving and is doubtless over 
90 per cent. 

"Contagious diseases are still not well reported, though the 
bacteriologic laboratory has done a good amount of most ex- 
cellent work. 

"A member of the laboratory staff administers antirabic 
treatment and the cost is defrayed by a portion of the dog 
tax. Typhoid vaccine is made and distributed, and provision 
is made for the sale of diphtheria antitoxin at a low price. 

"Much educational work has been done in connection with 
tuberculosis. The State maintains a sanatorium of one hun- 
dred beds and has a permissive hospital law for counties. 

"The bureau of foods and drugs is well known outside the 
State for its excellent work against adulteration. Good work 
has also been done in fighting fraudulent nostrums. A good 
deal of attention has been given to the sanitation of places 
where food is prepared and handled. The cold storage law 
is administered by this department. Some work is being done 
for the improvement of milk supplies. 

"Water and sewage control is under the bureau of food 
and drugs of this department. Much has been done in the 
way of inspection and surveys, and improvement in local 
water supplies has been brought about by advice and orders. 
The law, however, is not entirely satisfactory, and it does not 
provide for the filing and approval of plans. 

"The educational work of the department is especially 
prominent and effective. Dr. Hurty has devised many new 
details which have been copied by others, such as the Gov- 
ernor's letter presenting the 'baby book' to mothers. It is 
possible, however, that carelessness is sometimes permitted 
as to subject matter. 

"The department has broad powers over the sanitary condi- 
tions of public buildings, especially schoolhouses, and during 

Public Health in Indiana 289 

the past two years a large number of schoolhouses have been 
condemned and others renovated. It is estimated that nearly 
$4,000,000 has been expended in these improvements. 

"The department believes, and is doubtless correct, that the 
chief need at the present time is improvement in local health 
administration. A bill to secure this failed of passage at the 
present session of the legislature, but effort should be con- 
tinued to secure, in one way or another, the needed improve- 
ment in the service. 

"Meanwhile, the State Board of Health could do much to 
improve the control of communicable diseases by developing 
and strengthening the epidemiologic work of the department. 

"With sufficient State supervision, a great deal could be 
accomplished even with the present local health officials. 

"A better and more modern water and sewerage law is 
needed, and it would be wise to establish a division of engi- 
neering entirely separate from the food and drugs division." 

This is the estimate of an unbiased observer and strikes 
directly at the weak points in the present system of public 
health administration in Indiana. 

The achievements and discoveries of preventive medicine, 
since the discoveries of Pasteur, will go down in history as 
the crowning glory of our time. Typhoid fever is an accurate 
index of the sanitary civilization of a community, because it 
is known to be a disease easily preventable by community 
cleanliness. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that typhoid 
fever can be almost entirely eradicated from any community 
by intelligent attention to two points, namely, a good water 
supply and proper disposal of sewage. Antityphoid vaccina- 
tion has proven its value as an aid to sanitation. 

In 1898, among 10,759 United States soldiers at Jackson- 
ville, there were 2,693 cases of typhoid fever and 248 deaths. 
In 1911, among 12,801 soldiers at San Antonio there was one 

290 One Hundred Years in 

case of typhoid, no death. The difference was due solely to 
better camp sanitation and compulsory vaccination of all sol- 
diers. The medical and sanitary achievements of the World 
War are too recent and too well known to require comment. 
It is interesting to note, however, that in the entire American 
Army there were fewer than five hundred cases of typhoid 
fever and less than twenty-five deaths from this cause. 

Yellow fever, the scourge of the tropics, has been eradi- 
cated wherever intelligent effort has been made to destroy 
the breeding places of a single species of mosquito (Stegomyia 
calopus) which carries the germs of yellow fever from the 
sick to the well. Malarial fever is also carried in the same way 
but by a different species of mosquito {Anopheles). The 
value of these two discoveries was most strikingly illus- 
trated in the construction of the Panama Canal, and it can 
truthfully be said that the completion of the canal was as 
much a triumph of preventive medicine as of engineering 
skill. Ague disappeared from Indiana only with the drainage 
of swamps and consequent destruction of breeding places of 
the malaria-carrying mosquito. Bubonic plague has been 
known as black death and has ravaged Europe, Asia and 
Africa for centuries. Twenty years ago it was discovered 
that the germ of plague is carried to man by fleas from rats 
and certain species of squirrels. Plague has reached the 
United States three times since this discovery, at San Fran- 
cisco in 1900, again in 1907, and at New Orleans in 1914. 
Prompt and intelligent action by health officials exterminated 
the disease in each case. 

Asiatic cholera is spread almost entirely by polluted drink- 
ing water. The last serious epidemic in Indiana occurred in 
1854. Tuberculosis is a preventable disease. The germ of 
tuberculosis was discovered in 1882. In Indiana, in 1904, the 
death rate from tuberculosis was 187 per 100,000. In 1918 

Public Health in Indiana 291 

the rate was 137.8 per 100,000. This is still far too high, but 
what has been accomplished proves that a practical application 
of our knowledge of this disease will bring it more completely 
under control in the near future. Diphtheria has taken its 
toll of child life for many years in every part of the world. 
The germ of diphtheria was discovered in 1883, and this was 
soon followed by the discovery of diphtheria antitoxin. Be- 
fore antitoxin practically 50 per cent, of all cases died. At 
the present time not to exceed 4 per cent, are fatal. Such 
examples might easily be multiplied almost indefinitely to 
show the beneficent accomplishments of preventive medicine 
and efficient public health administration. It can be shown 
that pellagra and hookworm are well understood and can 
easily be prevented ; that a large proportion of insanity, feeble- 
mindedness, crime, poverty and moral degeneracy is due to 
preventable causes, and that all these are in reality problems 
of public health. The great need in Indiana today is a sys- 
tem of public health administration that recognizes the three 
basic principles of efficiency, namely legislation, organization, 
and education. Legislation conferring upon health officials 
full power to act. Organization with trained health officials 
giving all-time service in every community. Education in 
sanitation and prevention that will reach every citizen of the 
State and challenge his support and co-operation. Lord Bea- 
consfield said : "The public health is the foundation on which 
rests the happiness of the people and the power of a country. 
The care of the public health is the first duty of a statesman." 

VOL - 7 NO. 7 










The following journal of Henry Hay — son of the "Major 
Hay," who was captured at Vincennes with General Ham- 
ilton, by George Rogers Clark — presents an intimate view 
of life at Fort Wayne in the winter of 1789-90. It was orig- 
inally printed by Mr. Quaife in the Proceedings of the Wis- 
consin Historical Society for 1914, under the title: "A 
Narrative of Life on the Old Frontier." On account of its 
peculiar interest to Indiana it is reproduced here, by per- 
mission of Mr. Quaife and the Wisconsin Historical Society. 


Probably the vast majority of Americans think of the Revolu- 
tionary War as lasting from 1775 to 1783. It is true the 
Treaty of Paris marks the formal conclusion of the struggle. 
But it does not mark the conclusion of angry debate with the 
mother country, nor the evacuation of American territory bv 
British soldiery. Neither Great Britain nor the United States 
adhered scrupulously to its treaty obligations, and the former 
manifested no intention of evacuating the Western posts, lying 
within the borders of the younger nation. The real reason for 
this was commercial. On the fur trade depended the pros- 
perity of Canada. To control the fur trade the British must 
control the Indians. Hence the obligation to evacuate the 
upper posts was disregarded, and for a dozen years after the 
conclusion of the Treaty of Paris the major portion of the 
country northwest of the Ohio River continued to be treated 
as British territory. The Indian tribes of this region were 
then numerous and powerful. Relying upon the British for 
material support they waged bloody warfare upon the Ameri- 
cans in the vain hope of confining the advancing tide of set- 
tlement to the south side of the Ohio. The government of the 
Confederation was almost a nullity. Its successor, the feeble 
Federal government, distracted by the many problems pressing 
for solution, was exceedingly averse to accepting the gage of 
battle thus thrown down. When at length it did, three suc- 
cessive armies and five years of painful effort were required to 
humble the belligerent tribesmen. Thus the Revolution in the 
West may not unfairly be said to have lasted a score of years, 
and to have closed only with the Jay and Greenville treaties. 

296 Fort Wayne in 1790 

A variety of reasons exist for publishing the Journal which 
is presented in the following pages. The incidents recorded 
day by day by this British partisan, sojourning in one of the 
chief of the hostile towns, shed a ghastly light upon the forays 
which goaded the American bordennen to madness and their 
government into reluctant war. A perusal of the details pre- 
sented by our journalist — the heart of the American prisoner, 
pierced with a stick and preserved "like a piece of dryed veni- 
con ;" the plight of the captive, John Witherington, separated 
from his wife, "7 months gone with childe," and seven children, 
who had fallen into the hands of other bands of barbarians ; the 
destruction of forty souls, men, women, and children ; the all 
night dance of savage triumph in celebration of such atrocities 
as these — prepare the reader to appreciate the indignation with 
which the militant author of The Winning of the West wrote 
of this period in our history. 

Whether justly or not, the harassed American borderers as- 
cribed to Great Britain the real responsibility for their intoler- 
able plight. The present day opinion of well informed students 
of the subject inclines to acquit the home government of any 
positive agency in the matter. But the present day scholar, pos- 
sessing sources of information denied to contemporaries and 
entire immunity from the gory scalping knife and tomahawk, 
may consider the subject calmly and philosophically; the Amer- 
ican borderer's opinions were based upon the acts of Great 
Britain's agents in America and the visible facts of the situation 
on the frontier. Whatever the real motives of the home gov- 
ernment in the premises, the conclusions drawn by the fron- 
tiersmen from the information at their command were not 
unreasonable. Whoever would understand the enthusiasm of 
the frontier for war with England in 181 2 must take account 

Fort Wayne in 1790 297 

of the conditions revealed by such documents as the one 
which follows. When the Delawares threaten to remove to 
the Spaniards, and, "not go to war against the Americans any 
more," the authority of McKee, the British Indian agent, is 
invoked to restrain them. When it is believed that the trader, 
Lasselle, is to be burned by the natives because of his sup- 
posed sympathy with the Americans, the affair is reported to' 
Major Murray, the British commandant at Detroit; and Las- 
selle's good character is finally established by a certificate 
signed by all the villagers — living in the heart of the modern 
Indiana — that he is "a good loyalist" and "always for support- 
ing his King." A trader going to the Wabash must have a 
British pass ; one who speaks disrespectfully of the British offi- 
cials at Detroit is reported to those authorities therefor; while 
the author of our Journal, a British partisan, dares not ven- 
ture his "carcass" among the Americans at Vincennes. 

Some interesting views are afforded by the Journal of the 
conditions affecting the conduct of the fur trade. The calling 
of the trader was one of toil and privation, his life constantly 
liable to forfeiture at the hands of the elements or of the fickle 
and impulsive red man. The sordid rivalry of the traders ; the 
situation of Chevallier, "continually exposed to the malice and 
treachery of the Indians about him," the degenerating influ- 
ence of the wild life, exhibited in the renegade, Montraville ; 
the menu of acorns on which La Fontaine lived for five days 
in succession; the lying report about Lasselle, designed to 
compass his destruction ; details such as these incline one to 
give the journalist's dictum that it was "a Rascally Scrambling 
Trade" a more general application than was intended by its 

For the general reader the chief interest of the document 

298 Fort Wayne in 1790 

will lie, probably, in its picture of the life of the old French 
and Indian trading post, Miamitown. As I pen these lines my 
eye strays for a moment to the advertisement, on the page of 
a half-opened magazine, of a great manufacturing establish- 
ment of Fort Wayne ; and as with a sudden rush I seem to 
realize how wide is the gulf which separates the life of the 
city at the forks of the Maumee today from that of its prede- 
cessor of a century and a quarter ago. The St. Joseph and 
St. Mary's still unite to form the Maumee, and still the spring- 
time flood, which drove the French habitants to their garrets 
and made the canoe the only vehicle of transportation from 
house to house, recurs to plague the modern city. But in all 
else the imagination can scarcely conceive a wider gulf than 
the one which separates the Fort Wayne of today from the 
Miamitown of 1790. 

Our journalist presents, as with a moving picture film, a 
cross-section of life from what is commonly considered the 
most romantic period in the history of the old Northwest. To 
the critical eye of the conquering Anglo-Saxon the French 
settlers were slothful, vicious, and indolent. That there was 
a measure of truth in this judgment need not be denied. But 
the characteristic vivacity and gaiety of the French spirit shows 
nowhere to better advantage than when set off by such hard 
material conditions as those portrayed in the following pages. 
A careless reader of the Journal might well gather the impres- 
sion that social diversion was the chief business of its charac- 
ters. Feasts, dances, and ceremonies follow one another in 
close succession. The settlers assemble for midnight mass 
and for morning and evening prayers on Sunday, called there- 
to by the lusty ringing of cowbells. The musicians play the 
flute and fiddle indifferently for drinking bout and mass, and 

Fort Wayne in 1790 299 

at times go reeling from the one to the other. A "Pigg" is 
stolen for a joke and the victim composes a ballad on the sub- 
ject. The order of the "Friars of St. Andrew" is organized 
for purposes not sanctioned by the rules of St. Benedict, fur- 
nishing the subject for another ballad. Not even the flood- 
ing of the town suffices to quench the gaiety, for before the 
flood has subsided the ladies are taken for a row on the river 
to the accompaniment of fiddle and flute. 

Interesting, too, are some of the quaint customs of the time. 
Men appear at a ball wearing fur caps adorned with "Black 
Ostridge Feathers" and "amasingly large" cockades of white 
tinsel ribbon. On New Year's day the journalist makes the 
round of the village kissing all the ladies "young and old." 
That temperance reform had as yet made its appearance at the 
forks by the Maumee can scarcely be affirmed. On December 
25 our journalist and his companions became "infernally 
drunk ;" at an entertainment the following evening all except 
the writer became "very drunk ;" the next evening the cele- 
brants are "damned drunk ;" and the following forenoon finds 
them again at their cups. On the occasion of another evening 
party it is deemed worthy of record that none of the men 
became drunk, "which is mostly the case in this place when 
they collect together." 

The original Journal is the property of the Detroit Public 
Library. For furnishing the copy here presented acknowledg- 
ment is due Mr. Clarence M. Burton of Detroit, a valiant laborer 
in the local historical field. The document is a small volume 
having a calfskin cover. It bears upon both sides the name of 
P. H. Hay but within the journalist preferred, apparently, to 
sign the name Henry. Without positive knowledge in the 
premises, I am inclined to think that P. H. Hay and Henry 
Hay were one and the same person, an opinion shared by Mr. 


300 Fort Wayne in 1790 

Burton. Pierre Hay was born and baptized September II, 
1765. The records of St. Anne Parish contain no further men- 
tion of him, but Henry is mentioned as a witness at baptisms 
in 1787 and 1792. 

The father, Jehu Hay, was a Detroit citizen of much promi- 
nence in the generation of the Revolution. A native of Penn- 
sylvania, he enlisted in the Sixtieth American Regiment during 
the French and Indian War, and in 1762 was sent to Detroit 
with a detachment of troops. He served there during Pon- 
tiac's War and later entered the Indian Department. In 1776 
he was made deputy Indian agent and major of the Detroit 
militia. In this capacity he acted as Governor Hamilton's chief 
assistant in the latter's contest with George Rogers Clark for 
the control of the Northwest. Upon the triumph of the latter, 
Hay, like Hamilton, his leader, was consigned to a Virginia 
dungeon. Toward the close of the war, having been released 
from captivity and returned to Quebec, he was appointed lieu- 
tenant-governor of Detroit ; he had actually performed the 
duties of his office for only a year, however, when his career 
was cut short by death, in 1785. 

The nature of Henry Hay's mission to Miamitown is no- 
where stated in the Journal. Apparently he was in the pay of 
William Robertson, the Detroit merchant ; there seems to be 
ground, too, for the conjecture that he was acting in some 
public capacity for Major Murray. Possibly the missing pages 
would have supplied the explanation, but its absence does not 
affect materially the historical interest attaching to the 

Miamitown, where Hay passed the winter, was in 1790 the 
most important center of the Miami Indians. Situated at the 
junction of the St. Mary's and St. Joseph rivers, and com- 

Fort Wayne in 1790 301 

manding the important Maumee-Wabash portage, it was one 
of the vital strategic points of the Northwest. Recognizing 
this the French, in their expansion over the interior, in 1722, 
established a fort on the St. Mary's, at the beginning of the 
portage. In 1747, as the result of an Indian conspiracy, Fort 
Miami was burned to the ground. It was shortly rebuilt, at the 
junction of the St. Mary's and St. Joseph's, and was occupied 
successively by French and English garrisons until the sum- 
mer of 1763, when it fell before the followers of Pontiac. 
The garrison was not restored thereafter by the English, but 
the French habitants continued to reside here, and the traders 
to resort to the place. As one of the chief centers whence the 
Indian war parties issued forth against the border settlements, 
when the American government at length determined upon a 
course of retaliation, Miamitown was at once marked for chas- 
tisement. Over the festive traders a dire fate was impending. 
The Americans believed that they were engaged in hounding 
the savages on to their work of devastation and torture. The 
traders on their part denied this, and probably with truth, for 
the conditions of Indian warfare and the successful prosecution 
of the fur trade were mutually antagonistic. This fact in no 
wise altered the American belief, however, and General Har- 
mar, commander of the army about to be launched against 
Miamitown, was promising, in the event of a successful issue 
of the campaign, to attend to the case of "the villanous 

When the American army at length approached, in October, 
1790, the natives drew back a short distance in anticipation of 
the blow. Miamitown was burned and a series of bloody con- 
flicts ensued. The stream whereon but a few months before 
the Canadian ladies had been rowed to the music of violin and 

302 Fort Wayne in 1790 

flute now ran red with the blood of the soldiers. Eventually 
the Americans retired, the net result of the expedition being a 
"mortifying failure." 

Harmar's expedition inaugurated a five-year period of war- 
fare by the American government for the reduction of the 
tribesmen. Through it all, the site of Miamitown at the forks 
of the Maumee was a principal goal of endeavor. St. Clair 
was ordered to establish a large military station here in 1791 ; 
instead, he led his army to one of the most terrible defeats in 
American military annals. In 1794, a third American army at 
length succeeded. Miamitown was once more ravaged. Fort 
Wayne was constructed, and therewith the name of the grim 
conqueror became permanently attached to the place. With 
this change, this introduction to Hay's Journal may properly 


Left Detroit 9th. December 89, in company with Mr. Leith, 1 
and attended by a French man and a negro. Got this night 
within y 2 mile of Adam Browns, 2 slept in a deserted House, 
found it difficult to get a canoe to cross River aux Ecorse. 

roth. Left this place about J / 2 past 8 o'clock. Crossed the 
River Huron very well, from that proceeded to River au Ro- 
zain 3 w[h]ere arrived about y 2 past 4 o'clock in the Evening, 
found the roads very bad, creeks high, owing to the great falls 
of rain ; slept at Capt. Bennacs 4 Justice of the Peace of this 
new Settlement who received us very well — saw my uncle 
Baptist Reaume 5 who promised to send my Maire into Detroit 

lGeorge Leith, a prominent Detroit trader. In 1788 he was represented to a 
government investigating committee at Quebec as a man "of liberal education 
and highly respected in the settlement [Detroit]." Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Collections, XI, 633. A number of his letters are printed in Indiana Maga- 
zine of History, V, 138 ff. 

2According to one account of Pontiac's Conspiracy Adam Brown was at 
Detroit as early as 1763. He resided at Brownstown for a long time, later 
removing to Maiden. In 1793 and 1794 he furnished supplies to the British 
authorities for use on the Maumee. Se« Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., VIII, 366; 
XXXV, 63, 64; XXXVI, 358. 

3The modern Raisin. On Thomas Hutchins' map of 1778 the name appears 
as "Au Rosine." 

4Probably J. Porlier Benac, captain of the Raisin River militia company. 
After Jay's Treaty Benac was one of those who elected to remain a British sub- 
ject. See Ibid, VIII, 410, 498; XXIV, 248. 

5 Pierre and Hyacinthe Reaume, brothers, came to Detroit in 1726. They 
became the progenitors of a numerous line of descendants, who from Detroit 
spread over the Northwest. Baptiste Reaume was evidently the brother of Hay's 
mother, whose maiden name was Marie Julie Reaume. 


304 Fort Wayne in 1790 

nth. Left Capt. Bennacas this morning about 8 o'clock; it 
was with difficulty that we crossed the River Rozin the Water 
being very high — Rain this morning, which turned out into 
snow afterwards. Found the Roads damned bad about half 
way, arrived at the Foot of the Rapids at McCormicks about 
sun sete — found myself very tired; found Mr. Arthur McCor- 
mick here going out Trading — 

1 2th. Left Mr. McCormick about 10 o'clock, stopped at 
Cochrans at Roch de Bout 6 gott a Venison Stake & proceeded 
to the Prierie des Maske 7 were we made a large fire & en- 
camped, found the roads pretty passable. 

13th. Left this place this morning about 8 o'clock and pro- 
ceeded to Glaize, 8 w[h]ere we arrived about ]/ 2 past 3 o'clock 
— we were received very graciously by Mr. McDonnell who 
lives there ; he gave us good venison stakes & cyder — grogg &c. 
for Dinner; — Roasted venison for supper. &c. 

14th. Left this place about n o'clock; but we were obliged 
to send our little baggage on to the little Glaize about three 
miles from this bigg Glaize which [a] canoe crossed us over — 
and we swam our Horses — the water was very high. Slept this 

6Roche de Bout was the name given by the early French travelers to a 
rocky point projecting into the channel of the Mauraee about a mile above the 
modern Waterville, Lucas County, Ohio. It was also the name of an Ottawa 
village in the immediate vicinity. Wayne's decisive victory over the tribesmen in 
the battle of Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794, occurred a short distance down 
the Maumee from Roche de Bout. See C. E. Slocum, History of the Maumee River 
Basin (Defiance, O., 1905), 461; F. W. Hodge (ed.), Handbook of American 
Indians (Washington, 1907). 

7Prairie du Masque was a camping station a short distance above the Grand 
Rapids of the Maumee; so called from the fancied resemblance of the grass- 
covered bank to the form of a woman. The early American settlers, with uncon- 
scious humor, transformed the name into Damascus. Slocum, op. cit., 553. 

8At the junction of the Au Glaize River with the Maumee; commonly called 
by the American Grand Glaize, or Glaize. Fort Defiance was built there by 
Wayne in 1794, and later the place became the site of the modern city of Defiance. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 305 

evening about 8 Leagues from the place we sett out from upon 
a Hill — Mr. McDonnell and one Blanchet 9 an ancient 
Canadia[n] Trader came with us as far as this and slept with 
us; Mr. McDonnell had a horse load of Indian goods and was 
going to trade them at the Indian wigwams a few miles in the 
woods — a small distance from the place we encamped we met 
with some Indian Hutts which Mr. McDonnell visited, on his 
coming an Indian asked him if he was hungry ; answered yes, 
then says he I'll roast a Rackoon for you & asked w [hi ere 
he intended to encamp that he might know w[h]ere to bring it 
— Mr. McDonnell told him— Mr. McD. told us his story. 1 
believe the Indian wanted to do it, but Leith did not. — How- 
ever about 8 o'clock in the evening, just after we had supped, 
we perceived a fire brand coming thro' the woods, which proved 
to be the Indian with a roasted Rackoon cut up in a wooden 
dish which he delivered to Mr. McDonnell. He seemed to be 
a very merry fellow, he left us about 10 o'clock — left his 
wooden dish, it being their custom, they come for it when they 
find you are gone. — Haile and raine this evening & part of 
the night. 

15th. Parted with Mr. McDonnell & Blanchet this morning 
about 8 o'clock — rain and hail till 11 or 12 o'clock, found the 
Road very bad. slept at [illegible] about 7 leagues and a half 
from the Miami Town — a little snow this evening. 

1 6th. Left this place this morning about y 2 past 9 o'clock 

9Possibly Joseph Blanchet, a French-Canadian trader who assisted in the 
ransoming of O. M. Spencer at Grand Glaize in 1792. See A True Narrative of 
the Captivity of the Rev. O. M. Spencer by the Indians in the Neighborhood of 
Cincinnati, written by Himself (New York, 1834 [?])• 

306 Fort Wayne in 1790 

and arrived at the Miami Town 10 about 10 o'clock, found the 
roads very bad. I visited Mrs. Adamhers 11 family. 

17th. Wrote to Detroit to my brother Meredith & Baby, 
gave them an account of my jants & this place etc — visited a 
couple more of the french familys at this place found them very 
decent & polite — particularly at Mr. Adamhers who gave me a 
very friendly invitation to their house sans ceremonie. 

1 8th. Wrote Mr. Robertson, 12 with respect to my >4 pay 
certificates not being able to send them in by Mr. Sharpe 13 
who left this place for Detroit this day — but promised to get 
them made out the 25th Inst & forward them in by the first 
opportunity — We have had most delightful weather ever since 

loThe site of the modern Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to Capt. John 
Armstrong, a member of Harmar's army which raided the place in the summer of 
1790, there were seven distinct villages in the vicinity of the junction of the St. 
Mary's and the St. Joseph rivers. One of them was the Miami village, in the 
fork of the St. Joseph and the Maumee. Here the French traders lived. See 
H. S. Knapp, History of the Maumee Valley (Toledo, 1872), 66. 

uProbably the name should be spelled Adhemar. La Balme, who plundered 
the traders at Miamitown in 1780, lists one "Admer," a merchant, as "a dan- 
gerous man." This meant, of course, that according to La Balme's information 
he was loyal to the British cause. In March, 1779, one Adhemar who had been 
sent by Hamilton to Miamitown with ten perogues and thirty men to get provi- 
sions forwarded from Detroit, was captured by George Rogers Clark. In 1788 
St. Martin Adhemar was appointed one of the commissioners of the newly-created 
District of Hesse. William Robertson, the spokesman of the Detroit traders who 
memorialized Lord Dorchester against the new act, gave as the objection to 
Adhemar that he was settled at Vincennes "in the American states." See Mich. 
Pion. & Hist. Colls., XI, 622, 632; Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 
1909. 132; Illinois Historical Collections, VIII, 194; for a brief sketch of Adhe- 
mar's career, see Wis. Hist. Colls., XIX, 159. 

i2Probably William Robertson, a prominent merchant, who settled at Detroit 
in 1782. See Mich. Pion. & Hist Colls., XI, 627 ff; Wis. Hist. Colls., XIX, 272. 

lSGeorge Sharp, also prominent as a trader at Detroit. Robertson describes 
him as "of liberal education and highly respected." Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., 
XI, 633. Sharp was with Matthew Elliott when the latter ransomed O. M. Spencer 
at Grand Glaize in 1792. The picture which Spencer draws of him on that 
occasion is far from flattering. For further facts about Sharp, see Wis. Hist. 
Colls., XIX, 279, 291. 


Fort Wayne in 1790 307 

our arrival here. I think upon the whole this is a very pretty 
place— the River that this town is built upon is called the River 
St. Joseph which falls into the Miami River very near the town 
at the S. W. end of it. This day a prisoner was brought in 
here; Rather a elderly man was taken better than a month ago 
at a place called the little Miami— the Americans are now- 
making a settlement at that place 14 — this man was engaging to 
work for one John Phillipps, one of the settlers, was out in a 
field about two miles from his masters, saving fother for the 
cattle when he was taken — last Spring was the first time they 
came to it. Lower down the river towards the falls of the 
Ohio about five miles from this settlement where the Ameri- 
cans are now very busy building redoubts & block Houses ever 
since last Summer — they have three companies of regular Con- 
gress Troops — the number not known 15 — Those three com- 
panies came from three different places viz: — Capt. Pratt 16 
from Fort Pratt, Capt. Strong 17 from Muskingum, the other he 
does not know his name came from the Fall of Ohio, this 
place is called Licken 18 after a small river about the width of 

l4This was Columbia City, founded in November, 1788, three-fourths of a 
mile below the mouth of the Little Miami. Its projectors fondly hoped to see it 
become the metropolis of the surrounding region, and for a year or more their 
dreams seemed in a fair way of being realized. But the greater natural advantages 
of the site opposite the mouth of the Licking river destined this point, where Cin- 
cinnati was shortly founded, to be the site of the future metropolis. In 1873 
Columbia City, still a small town, was annexed as a suburb to its successful rival. 

loThe settlement of Cincinnati was begun in the late autumn of 1788. The 
following summer Fort Washington was constructed at this point by a force of 
troops sent down the Ohio from Fort Harmar for this purpose. 

i6Lieut. John Pratt, enlisted from Pennsylvania. 

iTCapt. David Strong, enlisted from New York. 

18The Licking River. Apparently Hay's informant was unfamiliar with the 
more imposing designation Losantiville given by the Kentucky pedagogue, John 
Filson, to the infant settlement. This hybrid, compounded for the occasion from 
Greek, Latin, and French elements, was intended by its compiler to signify "town 
opposite the mouth of the Licking." In 1790, at the behest of Governor St. Clair, 
Losantiville gave place to the modern Cincinnati. 

308 Fort Wayne in 1790 

this which comes from Kentuck and falls into the Ohio. This 
place has been commanded lately by one Major Dotty, 19 who 
is gone up to Muskinghum for his health as supposed; the 
Governor (St. Clair) was expected down in his place for a 
short time. 20 Capt. Strong, he supposed comn'd in the absence 
of the major until the arrival of the Governor. The full com- 
pliment of the subaltern officers of the compy's he thinks were 
present for their appeared to him to be a great many of them 
— particularly in Capt. Strong's he thinks he saw at least three 
of them. He never was w[h]ere the troops are but one Sun- 
day, therefore cannot give a certain account. This man is an 
Irishman born in the County of Tipperary came to America 
about Twenty years ago — never served with them or for them, 
lived the greatest part of the war in Virginia at a place called 
Fort Quire County 21 a country place — they had a Court House 
there — came down to this place (the little Miami) in July last. 
Last place he came from was Stantown 22 Augusta County — in 
Virginia. Aged about upwards of Forty, lost his father and 
mother very young. The Indians who took him are Dela- 
wares — did not use him ill nor did they took him with that 
intention, only to learn intelligence of what those People were 
about; he has his liberty, is to live with us the whole Winter 
as a servant and in the Spring the Indians have promised to 
take him safe back. It seems that he would prefer remaining 

loMaj. John Doughty, commander of the force which built Fort Washington 
On December 28, 1789, General Harmar, descending the Ohio from Fort Harmar 
reached the new fort, and named it Washington "on account of its superior excel 
lence." Fort Washington now became the military headquarters of the North 
west. On being relieved by Harmar, Major Doughty took command of Fort Har- 
mar, which guarded the new settlement of Marietta. 

20Governor St. Clair reached Cincinnati on January 2, 1790. 

2iFauquier County. 


Fort Wayne in 1790 309 

in this country had be but his cloaths and some money to the 
amount of Ten Pounds Virginia Money which Mr. Phillipps 
owes him. He was allowed from him for his work 40/ that 
currency per month and provisions — Virginia money is the 
nearest to sterling of any money in this country except Halli- 
fax is 6/ to the Dollar. Visited Mrs. Adamher and family 
this morning — This evening, also visited Mr. Rivarr's 23 — Miss 
Rivarr is a very pretty girl, inclined to be stoute, very fair, 
black eyes, but rather aukward. un peu a la Paysan. 

19th. Froze hard last night. Ice comes down the river But 
still a very fine day — This day arrived here the Little Turtle 24, 
a chief of the Miamiae with his war party consisting of about 
fifteen or sixteen — they had made two prisoners (a negro and 
a white man) the negro was left with a few whites at the Little 
Miami. They rest went out looking for more, they left their 
baggage & four Horses — during which time the Americans 
came on them, retook the negro, plundered the baggage, horses 
&c. The Indians made off & joined the others. Went and 
paid a visit this afternoon to Mrs. Adamher — drank Coffee 

23The papers captured from La Balme upon the destruction of his force 
near Miamitown in 1780, contained a list of the French inhabitants of the place, 
including one Rivard. Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1909. I3 2 - 
Rivard is also mentioned in a letter from Detioit to David Gray at Miamitown, 
March 23, 1785. Indiana Mag. of Hist. V, 142, 143. 

24Little Turtle was born on Eel River in 1752, and died at Fort Wayne in 
1812. One of the ablest leaders the red race has produced, he was an inveterate 
foe of the Americans until the Treaty of Greenville, of 1795- He bore a leading 
part in the negotiations over the treaty, contending stoutly for the interests of 
his race. Convinced of the hopelessness of further resistance he pledged a 
religious observance of the treaty. Until his death, eighteen years later, this 
promise was kept, and Little Turtle was a firm friend of the whites. His great- 
est military exploit was the destruction of St. Clair's army in 1791 by the war- 
riors under his command. He opposed making a fight against Wayne in 1794, 
and consequently the leadership of the red men in the battle of Fallen Timbers 
passed to his kinsman, Blue Jacket. 

y x o Fort Wayne in 1790 

with her. She showed me a further mark of her Politeness & 
attention, by telling me as it was very difficult to get cloaths & 
Linnen washed at this place, begged I would send her mine 
that her Ponnie wench should wash them. 25 

20th. Little rain & snow last night which has made it very 
slippery. Rather a darking day. Saw this day the Rifle Horn 
& Pouche Bagg belonging to the American that was murdered 
by the Indians. It seems that he was rather an elderly man & 
very tall — had some money both Silver & Paper of Virginia. I 
find that this man was immediately killed after he was taken 
by one of the party who struck him twice or thrice in the back 
an side, in consequence he said of having some of his own 
relations killed lately. This is their way of retaliating; the 
young fellow that had taken him offered to hinder the other, 
but could not he was in too great a passion. 

Paid a visit this morning to one Mr. Payetts 26 family, think 
nothing of Miss — She's very brown. 

Passed an agreeable afternoon & evening at Mrs. Adamhers 
in company with Mrs. & Miss Rivare & Mrs. Ranjard ; I played 
the flute and sang. Mr. Kinzie 27 the fiddle, & all the ladies 
except two sang also, Mrs. Ranjard has a fine voice. We 
drank tea & coffee about Yi past 4 o'clock & a light supper 

25A pani (panis, pawnee, paunee, etc.) was a slave of the Indian race. This 
designation was due to the fact that most of the Indian slaves belonging to the 
Algonquian and other Indians of the Great Lakes and the Middle West were 
procured from the Pawnee tribe. Handbook of American Indians. 

26Possibly the same person who La Balme's list of the inhabitants of Miami- 
town in 1780 designates as Paillet. 

27This was John Kinzie who has acquired posthumous fame as the reputed 
"father" of Chicago. For a sketch of his career, see M. M. Quaife, Chicago and 
the Old Northwest (Chicago, 1913), 145-52. When Harmar's force destroyed 
Miamitown the summer following Hay's sojourn there, Kinzie apparently re- 
tired, with others of the traders to Grand Glaize. The captive, Spencer, speaks 
of his house here in 1792, and describes Kinzie as "a Scot, who, in addition to 
merchandyzing, followed the occupation of a silversmith, exchanging with the 


Fort Wayne in 1790 311 

about 9 o'clock and then broke up. The French settlers of 
this place go to prayers of a Sunday, morning & evening, at 
one Mr. Barthelmis 28 which is performed by Mr. Payee; the 
people are collected by the Ringing- of three cow bells, which 
three boys runs about with thro' the village, which makes as 
much noise as twenty cows would. I went this afternoon to 
their prayers it being Sunday. A little snow this evening. 

I forgot to mention the 19th inst. that on the arrival of the 
warriors the other side of the river, the Grce 30 ordered a 
Pirogue (which happened to be just arrived from the forks of 
the river with wood) to be unloaded by some of the french 
lads who stood on the bank, and sent one of them over with it ; 
on their arrival he Billetted them like Soldiers so many in 
each House according to the bigness of it, and took care to 
trouble the families as little as possible — we had six ; — This he 

Indian his brooches, ear-drops, and other silver ornaments, at an enormous profit, 
for skins and furs." Spencer, op. cit., 30. Kinzie later established himself at 
Pare aux Vaches on the St. Joseph River, near the forks of the Chicago-Detroit 
and the Chicago-Fort Wayne Indian trails. In the spring of 1804 he removed 
to Chicago, where Fort Dearborn had been constructed the previous summer. 
Except for the four years from 1812 to 1816, this was his home until his death 
in 1828. 

280ne of the oldest inhabitants of Miamitown. His name is included in the 
"census" of Indiana of 1769, and also in La Balme's list of the inhabitants of 
Miamitown in 1780. See Illinois State Historical Society, Trans., 1909, 132; 
Indiana Historical Society, Publications, II, 439, 440. 

29Probably the priest, Louis Payet, who was born at Montreal in 1749. and 
came to Detroit in 1781. He made trips to the missions at Vincennes, Cahokia, 
and other outlying points. See Wis. Hist. Colls., XVIII, 493- 

30Le Gris was the French nick-name of the Miami chief Na-ka-kwan-ga, or 
Crippled Ankles. The name appears as Nah-goh-quan-goh in the treaty of Green- 
ville, and Naquakouande in a speech of 1773. (Mich. Pion. Colls., Vol. 19, p. 310). 
Antoine Gamelin, who visited Miamitown in April, 1790, on an embassy for the 
Americans, speaks of him as "the great chief of the Miamis." American State 
Papers, Indian Affairs (Washington, 1832-61), I, 94- His importance among the 
Miami is sufficiently evident from the following pages. He was prominent in the 
warfare with the Americans which closed with Wayne's victory of Fallen Tim- 
bers, and in the negotiation of the Treaty of Greenville the following year. 

312 Fort Wayne in 1790 

ordered in a very polite manner, but quite like a general or a 

2 1 st. Monday. The weather rather mild and foggy — much 
inclined towards rain. This morning Mr. Leith told me the 
Gree was going off immediately after breakfast with his peo- 
ple a hunting — & that this hunt was to bring in meat for me, 
and that consequently I should be under the necessity of giving 
him a small two gallon keg — which I did ; as rum is very dear 
at this place no less than 40/ a gallon. I borrowed it to be 
returned at Detroit. The reason I gave them the rum now is, 
that they may not drink it about the village ; it being against 
Major Murray's 31 positive orders to give Indians rum at this 
place or sell &c, And as I'm for supporting those orders as 
much as lay in my little power was my particular reason for 
giving it to them at present ; for they no doubt will not expect 
anymore — If they do I must say they shall not get it from me, 
— not only to prevent quarrels which might happen in the vil- 
lage if they got drunk and also supporting the Major's orders, 
but its an expense to myself which I shall not be able to sup- 
port. Capt. Johnny Shawnee Chief 32 arrived yesterday morn- 
ing ; from his village according to the message we sent him 
by an Indian woman which we met on our way here, the day 
before we arrived. The Gree introduced me yesterdav to his 
Son, my brother and old play fellow as he called him. And 
this morning when aft] breakfast after I had given him the 
rum, he & his wife both directed me to look at my brother what 
a dirty fellow he was. — He also introduced me to his grand 

3iMajor Patrick Murray, Sixtieth Regiment, British commander at Detroit at 
this time. 

32Captain Johnny was a Shawnee chief of some importance. A number of 
his speeches are preserved in Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., XX, 385, 519; XXIV, 597, 
598; XXV, 242-44, 690-92. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 


daughter who had formerly made me some small Indian Pres- 
ent, which I had repaid with rings — his own and only daughter 
died some years ago, whom he said had been my very great 

I was shown this morning the Heart of the white Prisoner I 
mentioned the Indians had killed some time ago in the Indian 
Country — it was quite drye, like a piece of dryed venison, with 
a small stick run from one end of it to the other & fastened 
behind the fellows bundle that killed him, with also his Scalp. 

Another party of the Miamies and one Shawanie came in 
from war This day with one scalp the[y] danced over the 
River, one with a stick in his hand & scalp flying ; it being 
their custom. — Some of the warriors came over in the evening, 
to our House. It was rather a dirty morning; it thawed very 
much ; we had a little rain — however it turned out a pretty 
clear afternoon. 

22nd. Tuesday. Very fine beautiful morning. Froze very 
hard visited Mrs. Adamher this afternoon 

23 Wednesday. Very fine morning more like Spring than 
fall weather, grass quite green — not the least frost last night — 
I never observed 'till this morning that a Man may easily walk- 
over this River it being very shallow, Very few Indians here 
at present — most of them are gone a hunting. There are two 
Villages at this place one on this side the River & one on the 
other — the former belongs to the Gree — the other to Paccan 33 
who's now in Illinois, but in his absence is Commanded by his 

33Pacan was for many years head chief of the Miami. As a young man, in 
1764, he rescued Captain Thomas Morris from impending torture at Miami- 
town. See Wis. Hist. Colls., XVIII, 366, 367; Thomas Morris, Miscellanies in 
Prose and Verse (London, 1791), 22, 23. For a stirring speech of Paean's in 
behalf of the English, in 1781, see Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., XIX. 595. 596. To a 
speech to Sir Wm. Johnson, in 1773, is attached the name "Pakane Tunr.," who is 
probably the man who signed the Miami Treaty of 1809. 

314 Fort Wayne in 1790 

nephew one Mr. Jean Baptist Richerville, son to one Mr. 
Richerville of Three Rivers in Cannada by an Indian woman — 
This young man is a Trader here — his Father has wrote for 
him to go to him which he means [to do] next Spring. His 
mother is now gone into the Indian Country (dans les Terre as 
the french term it) to trade; She lives with him when she's 
here — the young man is so very bashful that he never speaks 
in council, his mother who is very clever is obliged to do it 
for him. 34 

This evening the Gree's Brother arrived from his hunting 
Ground — his name is the Deer. He formerly was great Chief 
of this Village but chose to give it up to his Brother — he's very 
clever — his Brother never does anything without consulting 
him. — Capt. Johnny left this place this morning for his Village. 

24th. Thursday. Very fine day — but cold — froze hard last 
night. Several Potewatomies arrived here this afternoon with 
skins, meat &c. Visited Mrs. Adamher was pleased to desire 
I should send her any linnen or any thing else that I may 
want to mend. She asked me to go with her to the midnight 
mass — and also asked me if I would play the flute which I did. 
Mr. Kinzie & myself went to Mrs. Adamhers about 11 o'clock 
— he brought his fiddle with him — we found a french man 
there who played with us. 

25th. Came home this morning about two o'clock from 
mass ; Mr. Kinzie & myself called first at Mrs. Adamhers on 

34Richardville, or 'Peshewah" (Pin-ji-wa — The Wildcat) was born near 
Miamitown about the year 1761, and died at Fort Wayne in August, 1841. His 
later career indicates that he bravely overcame the bashfulness of which Hay 
speaks. From the death of Little Turtle in 1812 until his own death in 1841, 
Richardville was head chief of the Miami. At the time of his death he was 
accounted the richest Indian in North America, his weaith being estimated at 
half a million to a million dollars. See Handbook of American Indians; Knapp, 
History of Maumee Valley, 361-64. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 315 

our return home, who gave us some venizon stake and roasted 
rackoon — Played the flute & Kinzie the fiddle with the french 
man this Morning at Mass; being a particular desire of the 
Peoples. We left our instruments at the House \v|hlere 
prayer is said. I cannot say much indeed for the Trade of this 
Place their's but few skins comes in, and almost every individ- 
ual (except the engages) is an Indian trader, everyone tries to 
get what he can either by fowle play or otherwise — that is by 
traducing one another's characters and merchandise. For in- 
stance by saying such a one has no Blankets another no 
strowde or is damned bad or he'll cheat you & so on — in 
short I cannot term it in a better manner than calling it a 
Rascally Scrambling Trade &c &c. 

Somehow or other I lost a Silk Pocket Handkerchief this 
morning coming home — which I never expect to see — and my 
Brother Johnnys 35 fine travelling knife stole last night, which 
I also give for lost. 

Very hard frost last night, a great deal of ice floating down 
the river this morning, there was also a small Borcdage indeed 
one place so wide and strong that several boys were sliding 
upon it, however its not extraordinary quite the contrary — for 
the fine weather we have had here ever since our arrival & 
which still continues is very much so & what I have never yet 
seen in this Country — however at this moment (1 o'clock) it 
has much the appearance of Snow which is much wanted for 
the Indians hunts — for deer and rakoon. 

Play again this afternoon at Vespars. 

35john Hay became later a prominent citizen of Cahokia. Illinois. R. 
Thwaites and L. P. Kellogg, Revolution on the Upper Ohio (Madison, 1908), 

316 Fort Wayne in 1790 


26th. Got infernally drunk last night with Mr. Abbott 
and Mr. Kinzie — Mr. A. — gave me his daughter Betsy over 
the bottle. Damnation sick this morning in consequence of 
last night's debashe — eat no breakfast — Kinzie & myself went 
to mass and played as usual. — Mrs. Ranjard gave us a cup of 
coffee before mass to settle our heads. 

Very little frost last night — a very mild day — but rainy and 
disagreeable — and muddy in the bargain — very little ice float- 
ing this morning. 

Mrs. Grie having made us a present of a very large Turkey 
Cock weighing about 30 pounds, we proposed having a Dinner 
among us Englishmen here. 

Mr. Abbott fetched some Maderia & Mr. Kinze a Piece of 
fine newly corned pork — upon which we made a most excel- 
lent dinner at Yi past 3 o'clock after Kinzie & I had played at 
Vespers as usual — 

After K — and I went to see Miss Rivarre & found the miss 
Adamhers there, the old people were out of the way. 

George Girty 37 arrived here this day from his wintering 

36james Abbott was born in Dublin in 1725. On coming to America he first 
settled in Albany, removing to Detroit about the year 1763. He engaged exten- 
sively in the fur trade, conducting operations at Mackinac, Green Bay, Prairie du 
Chien, Fort Wayne, Ouiatanon, and Vincennes. He was the father of Robert 
and James Abbott, leading citizens of Detroit in the first half of the nineteenth 
century, and of Samuel Abbott of Mackinac. James Abbott Jr. married Sarah 
Whistler at Fort Dearborn in the spring of 1804, thus furnishing the first 
recorded marriage at Chicago. Elizabeth Abbott, the "daughter Betsey" of the 
diarist, was born at Detroit in 1777, married James Baby, and died at Sandwich 
in 1812. See P. Casgrain, Memorial des Families Casgrain, Baby et Perrault du 
Canada (Quebec, 1898), app. G. 

37George Girty was the younger of three brothers — Simon, James, and George 
— who for a full generation were objects of loathing and terror along the Ameri- 
can frontier. Natives of Pennsylvania, the brothers were captured, along with 
the other members of the family, by an Indian raiding party in the summer of 
1756. Reared by the Indians, George Girty married among them, and became prac- 
tically an Indian himself. He died near Fort Wayne, Indiana, shortly before the 
outbreak of the War of 1812. See C. W. Butterfield, History of the Girtys 
(Cincinnati, 1890). 

Fort Wayne in 1790 317 

ground which is only four miles from here— its called the I >ela- 
ware Town— he desired I should write in to Capt. McKee 38 
by the first opportunity to acquaint him that in consequence of 
the Miami Indians upbraiding the Delawares with telling them 
that the Ground they occupied now is not theirs and that upon 
which the Delawares answered, they were great fools to fight 
for lands that was not theirs and consequently would not go 
to war against the Americans any more ; but that they will for 
a certainty leave the Country and go down to the Spaniards 
and put themselves under the protection of that Government. 
That he had already sent word in some time ago that they were 
talking of going which he hardly believed at that time— but at 
present can safely say that there is not the least doubt of it.— 
Begs at same time that Capt. McKee may not make mention 
that this Intelligence came thro' him — and that if Capt. McKee 
would Immediately send in a String of wampum to hinder 
them from taking such a step it would no doubt immediately 
stop them. Turned out a pretty good afternoon. 

27th. Sunday. Kinzie & myself were invited to sup with 
a Mr. Barthelmie (the man of the house w[h]ere prayer is 
said) last night, with Mr. and Mrs. Adamher — Mr. de San- 
laren 39 a french gentleman a Trader at this place who formerly 

38Alexander McKee, like the Girtys, was a native of Pennsylvania, who sided 
with the British in the Revolutionary War. He became an agent in the British 
Indian Department, where his influence over the natives, which he employed to 
incite them against the Americans, made his name one of sinister omen to the 
frontiersmen until the close of the Indian wars in 1795. For a sketch of McKee. 
see Wis. Hist. Colls., XVIII, 434. 

39Probably Celoron, one of the sons of Pierre Joseph Celoron, formerly 
commandant at Detroit. During the Hamilton-Clark campaign on the Wabash, 
Celoron was sent by Hamilton to take command at Ouiatanon, a short distance 
below the modern Lafayette, Indiana. Clark sent a detachment to capture him, 
whereupon Celoron beat a hasty retreat up the Wabash. He met Hamilton's 
army at the mouth of the Maumee, en route to capture Vincennes; Celoron here 
so conducted himself that Hamilton later charged him with treachery. See 
Thwaites and Kellogg, Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio (Madison, 191-'), 
281; Illinois Historical Collections, VII, 130, 179. 

318 Fort Wayne in 1790 

was an Officer in the french Service before the taking of 
Canada &c. &c. and Mr. Baptist Lassell — we had a roasted 
Turkey and to my great surprise and indeed every one else we 
had a roasted Loine of Veal — a kind of wilde sallad which 
they have here all winter on the other side of the River which 
was very good & also some very [good] cocombers pickels 
cheese &c. Grogg the only drink. — everything served up in 
the french Stile — The miss Adamhers came and joined us after 
supper from Mr. Rivarres. Gentlemen & Ladies every one 
sung a song — after which I proposed walking a minuet with 
Mrs. Adamher which was accepted of & followed by a Smart 
Gigg Kinzie the fiddler. Then K. & Miss Adamher relieved 
us & play the Piper & So on — until about 11 or 12 o'clock 
when it was proposed on cachet, by Mrs. Adamher to give 
Kinzie a bouquet as it was the Eve of St. John — his name 
being John which was done in the French Stile — a man was 
posted at the door with a loaded gun ready to fire when 
ordered. — Mr. Adamher carried the bouquet on a plate which 
was made in this manner viz : A large cake with a stick in 
the center and some blue ribbon tied about it and three charges 
of powder and ball on the plate also. I proceeded in front of 
Mr. Adamher playing the freemasons March (Come' let us 
prepare) Mr. K. being a freemason & just as Mr. Ad — deliv- 
ered him the bouquet with the Common compliment upon such 
an occasion, I immediately stepped forward opened the door 
and gave the word fire which was done, I then took the three 
charges of Powder & Ball of [f] the Plate and thro' them into 
the fire successively, which made three very good explosions 
— Kinzie got very drunk and so did every one except myself 
— K. was obliged to sleep at Mr. Adamhers— was too drunk to 
go any further — so much for last nights business. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 yo. 

Rained all last night and continued so to do — a very great 
fogg this morning— the weather very mild, in short the 
unaccountable weather I have ever vet experienced at this time 
of the year — if it continues the Fur Trade will be very bad this 
year and no doubt its impossible for the Indians to hunt in this 
kind of weather; they may get a few Rackoon, Otter & beaver 
with Traps. They only kill a few deer & Bears in this wett 
weather particularly Bears — but not equal to as when the snow 
is on the ground. 

Played as usual at mass. Kinzie told me this morning that 
Mr. Abbott requested that I should dine with him to-day.— 
which we did and had a good Tea Pye & a drink of Grogg. 

28th. Monday. Last night I supped sans ceremonie at Mr. 
Rivarrs about 5 o'clock. — After which we repaired to Mr. 
Adamhers, and from that went according to appointment at 
Mr. de Selerons were we danced 'till about 1 1 o'clock — it being 
St. John's day & Mr. de S — a freemason, a bouquet was pre- 
sented to him — upon which he and Mr. Adamher got damned 
drunk. — Visited the ladies this morning, also Mr. de S. who I 
found drinking with Adamher and some others — did not stay 
long as they wished me to drink at so unseasonable an hour as 
11 o'clock in the morning — but promised to joine the Corum in 
the afternoon. 

Made out- my Half-Pay certificate this day — was sworn by 
Mr. Leith — Mr. Ironside 40 made out the Bills of Exchange for 
me ; So that every thing is now ready to send to Mr. Robertson 

40George Ironside, at this time a leading trader of the Maumee Valley, was 
born in 1760, and died at Amherstburg in 1830. For many years he was in the 
British Indian service. He was an M. A. of King's College, Aberdeen. In 1792 
he had a house at Grand Glaize. O. H. Spencer, whom Ironside befriended 
during the former's captivity there, speaks highly of his humanity and hospitality. 
See Spencer, op. cit.; Mich. Pion. & Hist Colls., XVI, 737- 

320 Fort Wayne in 1790 

at Detroit by the first opportunity. [Page missing.] time; but 
having eat a good dinner upon a young wild Turkey with a 
couple of glasses of Port Wine, drove it off immediately. This 
evening about five the Gree & his Brother in Law, the Little 
Turtle arrived from their wintering Place ; they drank tea, also 
maderia Grie who came in after them and who presented us 
with a couple of Turkeys — The Grie told me his young men 
would be in in a few days, that they came first to inform us 
of it. — It being near the New Year, and a common custom 
among them to flock in about that time from their wintering 
places, to Salute, and of course expect some little matter. 

30th. Wednesday. Bad cough all night — the same today — 
Little or no frost last night — Very mild day — but cloudy and 
Dark — very muddy &c. — 

The Grie & Turtle visited us this morning. — Began to raine 
about 2 o'clock this afternoon and continued 'till near 10 or 
n o'clock. 

31st. Thursday. Little Snow this morning, and rather cold 
— Very little or no frost. — The Grie and Turtle Breakfasted 
with us this morning. — The sun begins to Peep, all the appear- 
ance of a fine day. — The day did not turn out as I expected — 
it got cloudy about 1 o'clock & a little Snow. — Cold. Began 
to freeze about 4 o'clock this afternoon 

1 January 1790 Friday — 

Most Beautiful Sun Shiny day — Froze hard last night. High 
wind & pretty cold &c &c. 

It being New Year the Indians who are in great number, 
more so indeed than I could ever have thought, also the 
Woman — came into the house in great numbers by three o'clock 
this morning which prevented Ironside & me from Sleeping — 
one lady came to shake hands with me when in bed. — The 

Fort Wayne 

in 1790 321 

House was quite full at Breakfast time— The Grie & Turtle 
came to visit us & breakfasted with us as usual. 

I forgot to mention that last night about 5 o'clock I was sent 
for by the Grie with Mr. Ironside. When I went to him, he 
informed me that his Son my Brother as he calls him, had 
sent me in something to eat, which was a Carcass of Venison 
& four or five Turkeys which he begged I would accept — His 
Son could not come in on account of his rather young child 
being unwell. 

The Grie asked me this morning for a bottle of Rum, I was 
rather loath at first to give it him, but having informed me it 
was only for the reception of myself or any few friends that 
might come to see him — as he has always been accustomed to 
it, I told him that in case he should have it, and that I expected 
he would not make a bad use of it — He answered that he had 
more respect for the recommendation I had brought him from 
Major Murray than to do any thing of the kind — for says he 
who's to protect you from any insults that might be offered to 
you by any hot headed Indian but myself — and should I get 
drunk — I know myself not capable of it. 

Visited most of the Principal families of this place this 
morning & kissed all the Ladies young and Old — The Grie 
did not keep his promise with me — he was rather drunk 
towards the evening. 

2nd. Jany. Saturday. Danced last night at Mr. Adamhers 
— no other strangers but madam Ranjard & Kinzie & myself — 
During the time we were dancing a french man arrived from 
Marie Louisas 40 - Trading Place about 25 Leagues from here— 

40|Marie Louisa was the baptismal name of the youngest sister of The 
Little Turtle. Her Indian name was Ta-kum-wa, or The Parrakeet. Ta-kum-wa 
literally, as the Shawnee Tecumtha, means going across, or crossing over. The 
parrakeet was very common in Indiana at that time, and the Miamis evidently 
gave it this name on account of its parrot beak. 

322 Fort Wayne in 1790 

this M. Louisas is mother to yo[u]n[g] J. Baptist Richerville 
mentioned in my Journal some days ago. He brought word 
that Mr. Antoine Lassell (who is traveling at a place called le 
Petit Piconne 41 Six Leagues from the Ouias) 42 is made Pris- 
oner by the Ouias Indians — supposed for having wrote a let- 
ter some time ago to Fort Vincennes apprehending them of a 
Party of Indians that intended to strike there — that this Party 
was in consequence of it taken Prisoner by the Americans at a 
Post 43 — that Lassell had also mentioned that one of the Party 

4lAntoine Lasselle had been a resident of Miamitown for nineteen years at 
the time this journal was written. When General Harmar destroyed the place 
the following October, Lasselle followed Little Turtle's band to the new Miami 
village on the Little Glaize. He was an active partisan of the British-Indian 
cause, and served, garbed as an Indian, in Captain Caldwell's company of Canadian 
militia which fought against Wayne at Fallen Timbers. Too corpulent to keep 
pace with his dusky allies in their rapid retreat before the points of Wayne's 
bayonets, Lasselle concealed himself under a log, thinking to make his escape after 
nightfall. He was discovered, however, and promptly tried as a spy. The story 
is told that, finding the trial going against him, he gave the Masonic signal of 
distress, whereupon Colonel Hamtranck, president of the court-martial, threw his 
influence in his favor, resulting in a verdict of acquittal. Whatever the truth 
as to this may be, Lasselle, together with his brother Jacques, shortly afterward 
secretly entered Wayne's employ, and labored zealously to bring the Indians to 
conclude a treaty of peace with the Americans. See J. P. Dunn, Indiana (Bos- 
ton, 188S), 436—40; W. A. Brice, History of Fort Wayne (Fort Wayne, 1868), 
app. 16, 17; Amer. St. Papers, Ind. Affs., I, 494. 

42Petit Piconne is an unique corruption of Ki-ta-pi-nong, meaning the town 
at the mouth of the Tippecanoe (Ki-ta-pi-ka-na) river. This is the name of the 
buffalo fish. At this time there was an important Indian village here, where 
resided a number of French traders. The Ouias was a village in the vicinity of 
the old French post Ouiatanon, near the site of Lafayette, Indiana, Ouiatanon 
was founded by the French after 1722; there had been no garrison here since 
Pontiac's War, but it was still an important center of the Indian trade. These 
places were raided by an American army under Gen. Charles Scott in June, 1791, 
and again in August, by a force commanded by Gen. James Wilkinson. See 
Amer. St. Papers, Ind. Affs., I, 131—33; "Ouiatanon," in Indiana Historical 
Society, Publications, II, 319 — 48. 

43Vincennes. The post which the French established here in the first half 
of the seventeenth century was designated "poste au Ouabache," or, more com- 
monly, simply "au poste." The early American settlers transformed this into "the 
Post" or "Opost." 

Fort Wayne in 1790 323 

was Son to the Indian who burnt an American Prisoner at the 
Ouias last Summer.— The Indians having understood that the 
Americans meant to Burn this Indian, is the reason they haw 
fallen upon Lassell and mean to burn him— his men are also 
prisoners — they will of course plunder him &c. — I'm sorry for 
it and so is every one at this place — tho' he certainly has 
brought [it] upon himself — 

This morning after Breakfast — Mr. Adamher Mr. Leith & 
myself with all the Principal traders of the place collected our- 
selves in this house and met the Grie which was sent for for 
that Purpose — After he was made acquainted with the matter 
and his Advice asked — he answered that he was extremely 
sorry to hear such news, and that he had always given his 
advice to the people here how they should act when they went 
into the Interior Parts of the Indian Country — but that the 
french had frequently gone without letting him know or asking 
his advice ; And that particularly Mr. Lassell who altho' he had 
advised not to go to that part of the country did absolutely go 
without acquainting him of it — for says he, had he mentioned 
it to me I should have sent one of my Chiefs with him, or 
given him a belt, as a Guard and which would have prevented 
any thing of this kind happening — However says [he] no time 
is to be lost as I am now immediately going off to my winter- 
ing Camp I shall detach three faithful warriors of mine with a 
belt from me to inquire into this matter which if true will 
effectually put a stop to it — (if it has not already taken phnw \ 

Mr. Dufresne a french trader who is concerned in that part 
of the Country — gave him about two fathoms of Smoking 
Tobacco— Virmillion Provisions &c— Mr. A. Lassell has all 

324 Fort Wayne in 1790 

his goods from Mr. Baby 44 which concerns me much on his 
account if any thing should happen. — As Mr. 'Kinzie means to 
go to Detroit on Monday next I wrote this day to the Major 
with respect to this affair — and to Capt. McKee with regard 
to the Delewares. — 

Beautiful Day — froze hard last night — Wrote Mr. Robertson 
of Detroit this day inclosed him my bills of Exchange and 
certificates for my y 2 pay Wrote my brother also. 

3 January Sunday. The Grie & Little Turtle went off on 
horse back for their wintering Camps, after breakfasting with 
& thanking -us for the reception they received from us during 
their stay — I gave them a bottle of Rum. For it must be 
observed that they have nothing here to live upon — everything 
they possess & have is in the woods ; they all come in in the 
Spring to the amount of four or five hundred — 

Began to raine a little this Evening — Not the least frost last 
night — Thaughed all day. 

4 Jany. Monday. Mr. Kinzie went off for Detroit at day 
break this morning. Raine all last night, which turned into 
Snow towards morning. — Very disagreeable dirty day — the 
Snow & Raine which we had last night has created a great 
quantity of mudd — wind a little high and sky Cloudy. — Danced 
and Supped at Mr. Adamhers, sans ceremonie as usual last 

44The Baby family had long been prominent in Detroit and Canada. The 
founder of the Detroit branch of the family was Duperron Baby, who was born 
at Montreal in 173 1 and came to Detroit twenty years later. In 1760 he married 
Susanne Reaume. He was the father of no less than twenty-two children, several 
of whom achieved prominence. A natural daughter by an Indian mother married 
the chief, Blue Jacket, who figures in Hay's journal. The eldest son, James Baby, 
married, as we have already seen, Elizabeth Abbott. Another son, Francis, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Abbott's sister, Frances. Duperron Baby died at Detroit in 1789. 
Whether Hay's allusion is to him or to one of his sons must be left to con- 
jecture. See Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., XV, 704-6; Casgrain, op. cit., app. G; 
Thwaites and Kellogg, Revolution on Upper Ohio, 44. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 325 

night. — Little Snow this afternoon— Last night while we were 
dancing at Mr. Adamhers his Pigg was stolen out of the Penn. 
— this is the 3d he has lost in the like manner the last one 
before this was stolen on the very same day last year. — How- 
ever this one turned out to be a good story which is as follows 
—Mr. De Seleron & two or three french men & Mrs. Ranjard 
were in the secret— it was Seleron & two others who took him 
away — Mr. Leith as a Justice of the Peace having every reason 
to suspect White People as well as myself, gave me a search 
warrant thro the Village attended by Mr. Ironside & one La 
Chambre a french man, we had almost gone thro' the whole, 
when we came to Mr. De Selerons were we found Mr. Adam- 
her & the people who had taken, they were telling him the 
story when we entered the House to Search. — we were imme- 
diately made acquainted with it — but stile continued our 
search to the other house we had not been at, keeping the 
secret, we even went to Mrs. Adamhers — own house & found 
the Poor woman very much affected at it, it being their only 
support when the fresh meat is killed, and what hurt her 
more was, that she intended to kill it tomorrow, and that the 
like had happened to her last year — however about an hour 
after she was very agreeably made acquainted with the joke 
and I never in my life saw such in a womans countenance 
when they told her of it — Mrs. Adamher is a woman who is 
amasingly fond of playing her jokes upon other people, she's 
always serving some one or other a trick ; for which they were 
fully determined to play her this one, which we premeditated 
upwards of three weeks ago. 

After I had made my report to Leith — Ironside & myself 
undeceived him about y 2 an hour after at which he laughed 
very much. Its a good joke and it will at the same time put 

326 Fort Wayne in 1790 

those people on their guards who are apt or may intend to 
make robberies. 

5th. January Tuesday. Very fine day, but cold, the weather 
quite changed. — Began to freeze very hard about 2 or 3 
o'clock this morning. — Ironside & myself having mentioned 
last night that it would be a good thing to steal the Hogg back 
again from those that stole it which they heard ; and mounted 
a Guard over him one of the party actually slept in the Penn 
with it — 

This day about 2 o'clock arrived here one Tramblai from 
the Ouias — He left Mr. Ant. Lassell very well at the Little 
Piconno the 29th December, and contradicts everything that 
we heard the 1st. Inst, with respect to that Gentleman, so far 
from it, that Mr. Lassell writes Mr. Adamher by this Tram- 
blai that he never Traded better nor easier, that the Indians 
are perfectly quiet in that part of the Country — Such a 
Damnable lying Report, I never experienced before in my life, 
— because in general, altho' Indian Reports are never to 
believed, there is always something similar to what is re- 
ported — but in this affair not even a single quarrell happened 
— The Grie seemed to put but very little confidence in it — I 
believe the french People here mean to send an express imme- 
diately to prevent this message being sent. 

6th. January. Wednesday. Froze hard last night — & very 
cold all night. Turned out quite mild about 10 o'clock and 
began to snow very hard. — all appearance that the winter is 
now setting in. — am much afraid Kinzie will not get to Detroit 
by water. — After snowing about a couple of hours pretty 
smartly — it began to raine & continued 'till 10 o'clock this 

7th. January Thursday. It began to blow amasingly hard 

Fort Wayne in 1790 327 

last night about 11 o'clock & froze very hard.— Very cold 
winday day— a great deal of Ice floating down the River.— 
This afternoon about 3 o'clock arrived the Indian sent to 
apprise the Grie respecting Lassell's affairs— they were just 
going to set out when he arrived their. He presented the ( irie 
with a Carrott of Tobacco, telling him— here's what your 
Brother, the french sends you & desires me acquaint you with 
the good news they have received, & that you need not trouble 
yourself with sending your message. 

The three Indians pitched upon by the Grie — were The Little 
Turtle, The Little Turkey & Le Jollie. 

8th. Jan'y. Friday. Very fine Sun Shiny day — Pretty Cold. 
— a great quantity of Ice floating down the River — Froze hard 
last night. — Invited all the principal people of this place to 
play cards with me this Evening. 

9th. Jan'y. Saturday. This is the coldest day we have had 
since my arrival. But very fine over head — Wind began to 
blow excessively hard about day break & continues so to do. 
I seated for the first time yesterday upon a marrai about }£ 
mile at the back of the village — this marrai falls into a creek 
which goes by the name of le Rouisso de Rioll. which falls into 
the Miami— This creek takes its name from a Frenchman who 
once had a hutt close by it. 

Supped this Evening at Mr. Dufrennes in company with 
some of the Principal French of this Place & then we all went 
and played cards with Mr. Abbott. 

10th. Jany. Sunday. A most excessive cold day, quite se- 
vere — but very fine over head. — River closed some time in the 
night — Indians walked across this morning — Turned quite 
milde this afternoon. Dined with Mr. Abbott, Leith also, Mr. 
Ironside being unwell could not go. We were joined in the 

328 Fort Wayne in 1790 

afternoon by Miss Adamher, Rivarre, De Seleron & Lassell ; 
we drank six Bottles of wine ; the two first Gentlemen pre- 
ferred drinking Grogg. It must be observed at same time that 
we three had already drank four bottles before any of the wine 
drinkers came in. — We were all pretty merry. — It began to 
Snow about 9 or 10 o'clock this Evening. 

11 January Monday. A great quantity of suow fell this 
last night and still continues to fall. — Its very mild at the same 
time. Turned out fine weather about 4 o'clock this Evening. 

12 January Tuesday. Froze hard this morning about day 
break — Turned out a very fine Sun Shiny Day — Tramblai re- 
turned this day to Little Piconno. — This day the roofe of the 
House got on fire — lucky it was not in the night or we should 
all been burnt. 

13th. Yesterday about 2 o'clock arrived here Mr. Antoine 
Lassell accompanied by a french man & one Blue Jackett 45 a 
Shawanie Chiefe. He is come in consequence of the report 
spread about him, which we received the 1st. Instant. — He 
was made acquainted of it by the following Letter which he 
received the night before he came off viz. 

45Blue Jacket, an influential Shawnee chief, was born about the middle of 
the eighteenth century. After Little Turtle, he was probably the most prominent 
leader of the Indians in the destruction of St. Clair's army in November, 1791. 
Since Little Turtle counseled peace when Wayne appeared on the Maumee three 
years later, the chief command in the battle of Fallen Timbers fell to Blue 
Jacket. Defeated, he yielded to the Americans and was one of the signers of 
the Treaty of Greenville the following year. According to the Handbook of 
American Indians he disappears from sight after signing the treaty at Fort Indus- 
try, 1805. Other accounts represent him as again raising the hatchet against the 
Americans in 1812, and as present at the River Raisin massacre, January 22, 
1813. See Mich. Pion. &.Hist. Colls., XV, 6292, 693; Casgrain, op. cit., 100. 

My Dear Friend 

Fort Wayne in 170,0 329 

From La Riveere a Languielle 48 

6th. January. 


Yesterday Evening arrived here two Indians sent bv the 
Grie to the Ouia to desire the Indians of that place to take you 
Prisoner and take you to the Miami Town, saving that you 
had writ a bad letter respecting them to the Americans. — It 
seems its one La Lache a Uuia Indian {half blooded) who has 
reported this against you among the Ouia's and other winter- 
ing Camps ; That the Soldier 47 & The Porcupine two Chiefs of 
Riviere a Languile have sent the messengers back to the Grie, 
saying that they would inform themselves of the matter — that 
as far as this they had not heard anything of the matter but 
thro La Lache who is a great Rascall — The messengers did 
not intend to stop here, but having a letter from Young Mr. 
Coco Lassell from Mr. Durfrense was their Reason for stop- 
ing — This letter was apprising young Coco of such a report 
being here which Mr. Dufrense sent by a Ponnie lad who I 
suppose mett with these people & gave it to them, which is a 
lucky circumstance for you. — The Soldiar & the Porcupine 
desired me to write you immediately in case some rascalls 
w[h]ere you are might hear of it and use you ill. — They de- 
sire me at the same time to tell you to write to the Grie or to 
make the Petite Face or any of the Principal Indians acquainted 

46Eel River. Logansport, Indiana, is situated at its junction with the 
Wabash. The Indian town was strung out along Eel River tor several miles 
above its mouth. 

47"The Soldier" is the literal translation of Ci-man-ka-nis-si-a, %vho was chief 
of the Eel Rivers. The name is made Sha-me-kun-ne-sa in the Treaty of 

330 Fort Wayne in 1790 

with it and desire them to send by you Strings of Wampum to 
the Grie to undeceive him of this matter. 

I am &c., 
Jacque Godfroy. 48 
Mr. Lassell could not bring any Strings with him from little 
Piconno because the Chiefs were not at home, but he stopped 
at La Riverire a Lanjerielle 48 * from which place he has brought 
a string accompanied with a paper mentioning the meaning of 
it — from the Soldiar & The Porcupine to the Grie. But he has 
brought with him the following certificate, signed by all the 
french Traders, and Indians then present at the Little Picon- 
no, viz — 

We citizens of the little Piconno certify ithat the bearer An- 
toine Lassell is a good loyalist and is always for supporting his 

Diaum X Payette 

mark Lamoureux 

X his 
Jean Cannehous his 

mark Etienne X Pantonne Henri Rainbeare 

Jacque X Dumay his 

his mark Toop X Maisonville 


48Probably Jacques Godfroy Sr. He figured in the events attending Pon- 
tiac's siege of Detroit in 1763, and the following year saved the life of Capt. 
Thomas Morris. He was at Miamitown when Harmar fell upon it in October, 
1790, and carried to Detroit an account of the ensuing battles. The following 
spring his goods, to the value of £500 were destroyed by the American army 
that raided the Wea villages. See Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., VIII, 283—85; 
XXIV, 106, 107, 166, 273; XXXVII, 448, 453; Thomas Morris, op. cit. 

48|Lanjerielle is an evident miscopy of L'Anguille, the French name of 
Eel River. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 


Lamoureus X fils 

Jean X Coustan 

Piere X Clairmont 

(Little X Egg) 

(Ouia Indian) 

(The X Sirropp) 
(Peria Indian) 

The Two considerable Indians of the little Piconno for the 

The following is what the two above Indians say to the Grie — 

The Grie. 

We are much surprised that you harken to the Doggs of the 
Villages, and if the above news were True we should send you 
sensible men to acquaint you. Its La Lache who is a bad In- 
dian & a Runner from one Village to another^He does not 
belong to our village — we beg you will not believe those bad 
Birds, who goes from one village to another creating very bad 
things & disturbances — as the Little Face, Chief of this village 
of the little Picanno is not here ; he gave us power to act in his 

A True Copy taken by me this 13th day of January 1790. 

Henry Hay. 

Very fine warm day, Rather inclined to raine — 

332 Fort Wayne in 1790 

This day Mr. Lassell sent of [f ] a messenger to the Grie de- 
siring his presence at this place immediately. This has been a 
very curious matter altogether — However Mr. Leith and my- 
self are of opinion that one Persons name has been taken for 
the other. There is one Fouche a french man, who has no 
doubt acted exactly in this manner as Mr. Lassell was Repre- 
sented to us to have acted, on the isit. Instance. Mr. Lassell 
nor does any of us believe that The Grie had anything to do 
with it, quite the contrarie, we are of opinion its some other 
Indians who has an antipathy against Mr. Lassell & who 
changed the name of Fouche to his, purposily to hurt him, and 
that those Indians made use of the Gries name in hopes of 
carrying on the matter to their wish. 

A great thaugh this day — 

14th. Thursday. Very fine day — a little frost last night ; 
In consequence of the great thaugh we had yesterday the snow 
has melted off the Ice & the Water coming over it froze so 
hard last night, that it afforded me the pleasure of Skating 
upon the River this morning — Turned out a very warm beauti- 
ful day — Thaw's a good deal and I'm afraide will carry off 
the Ice. — Wrote the Major 49 this day an account of Mr. Las- 
sells arrival at this place and every thing respecting his affairs 
as mentioned in this Journal yesterday. 

15th. Friday. Rain'd very hard mos't part of the night, 
Very high wind, &c. A very disagreeable day — a little frost 
this morning which makes it very slippery. I never experi- 
enced such an Evening as this at this time of the year — It be- 
gan to Thunder & Lightening about 6 o'clock, Then it began 
to Blow & Raine as if heaven and earth was coming together 
which lasted itill about 11 o'clock. 

49Major Murray, commandant at Detroit. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 


16th. Played cards last night at Mr. Dufrencs in Company 
with all the principal People of the Village, did not conic home 
untill this morning about 4 o'clock rather Drunkish— Froze 
hard about day breake — Rather an obscure day, not very 
cold. — 

This day the Grie arrived about 2 o'clock. This Evening 
Mrs. Adamher and Mrs. Ranjard made a Bouquet which we 
all Presented to Mr. Dufresne in Honor of St. Antoine, he 
bearing that name — It was then carried from that to Mr. 
Adamher, Mr. Rivarre, Mr. Barthelmies, Mr. Selerons & then 
back again to Mr. Dufresne we danced in each house, the 
Ladies being with us. 

17th. Froze hard last night — Most beautifull day. — This 
evening we had a Dance at Mr. Dufrenes by Mr. Anto n Las- 
sells invitation were all the Descent Ladies of this place were 
Present. — Signified to the Canadians this day my wish for 
them to fire three Vollies to morrow in consequence of its be- 
ing Her Majesties Birth Day, which they unanimously assented 
to, to my utmost expectations. 

1 8th. Jan'y. Her Majesty s Birth Day. 50 God Bless her— 
We accordingly fired three Vollies as was proposed yesterday. 
I gave them (the word of Command myself — Posted Mr. Adam- 
her as an Officer on the Right & Mr. de Seleron on the left — 
Gave the young fellows a Gallon of Rum — a bottle to the Grie 
at his own Request — The Snake 51 & some of the Principal 
Shawanies are here — I made them & the Grie acquainted with 
the Reason of the Rejoicing. 

50The birthday of Queen Charlotte of England was May 19. I am unable 
to suggest an explanation of Hay's apparent error in this respect. 

5lThe Snake was chief of a band of Shawnee whose village in 1792 was in 
the vicinity of Grand Glaize. O. M. Spencer, who saw him on the occasion of a 
visit to Blue Jacket, describes him as "a plain, grave chief, of sage appearance." 
op. cit., 29. 

334 Fort Wayne in 1790 

About 2 o'clock this afternoon I was apprized by Mr. J. B. 
Lassell that the young Canadian Volunteers intended to come 
& thank me & give me a Vollie in the front of the House — I 
immediately went home & they appeared in about a ^4 of an 
hour to my great surprise with a Drum & the fiddle we had in 
the morning; they were headed by one of the Serjeants I 
made in the morning. — After they had fired their Volley, they 
begged I would head them & march to the Houses of Mr. 
Adamher Mr. Seleron & Mr. Leith to pay them the same com- 
pliment which I did. — I proposed to Mr. Leith that he and I 
should give dance this Evening which he assented to, conse- 
quently Mr. Ironside & myself immediately went round to all 
the Ladies & Gentlemen of the place and invited them. 

19th Sunday. I never enjoyed myself at a Dance better 
than I did last night. The Gentlemen & Ladies all appeared 
dressed in their best bibs & Tuckers, & behaved very descently 
not one of the men the least in Liquor, & which is mostly the 
•case in this place when they collect together — As Mr. Leith 
never walks a minuet I opened the Ball wiith Mr. Adamher — 
When Mrs. A. — entered the room I desired the fiddler to 
play, God save the King. I made Tangrie for the Ladies, and 
Grogg for the Gentlemen. Between 10 & 11 o'clock we gave 
them Coffee, which Mrs. Adamher was so good as to make 
for us. — We danced some Dance Ronby, one particularly a very 
curious one — It was sung by Mrs. Rangard, the chorus was 
rather Bawdie — that is a good double intendre which was — 
Avee sons grand viesous viesous, avec sons grandpasse par- 
tous — at the end of the first chorus ; the plant a foot, the 26. 
two feet — the 3d a knee the 4 both knees, 5th and elbow, 6th 
bothe, 7th your head and 8th your bomb — so that the last sum- 
mons the whole up) — your right foot plant, then left, 1 knee, 2d 
knee, 1 elbow, 2d elbow, your head & your bombe. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 335 

As this is three nights now that I have danced, I find myself 
very tired this morning, my feet much swelled— And what with 
dancing, catching cold & given the word of Command yester- 
day I am quite hoarse.— I forgot to mention that yesterday was 
rather a disagreeable day— very muddy, misty, & now & then 
a little raine — began to Snow last night about 11 o'clock.— 
This is a very mild day. — Rather cloudy & Thick.— Mr. Lassell 
sett off this morning for Little Piconno, The Grie & Blue 
Jackett also for their different wintering Camps. 

One Robidos a french man which Mr. Lassell sends express 
to Detroit, is likewise sett off this day. 

Mr. Adamher & Mr. De Seleron made their appearance at 
the Ball with very fine fur caps on their heads, adorned with 
a quantity of Black Ostridge Feathers — Cockades made with 
white tinsell Ribbon, amasingly large — As their was a great 
deal of Mudd — Mrs. Payette who is an extraordinary large 
woman was sent for in a Carte, accompanied by her Husband 
& Daughter — Began to Snow again about 10 o'clock. — & Con- 
tinued till the evening. Spent this Evening at Mrs. Cicotts in 
Company with Mrs. and Miss Payette. 

20th Wednesday. Began to blow excessively hard last nighl 
about 11 or 12 o'clock — froze very hard; this is the coldest day 
we have had yett. Payed a few visits this morning and Dined 
sans ceremonie, with Mr. Dufresne. — Went and drank coffee 
about 4 o'clock this afternoon with Mrs. Adamher ; The cold 
seem to increase as the sun setts. 

21 Thursday. Froze very hard & excessively cold all night. 
— Something milder this morning — The Suns out which makes 
the weather very fine over head. — It became rather cloudy & 
thick about 10 o'clock, & in the Evening a very large ring 
round the moon — however about 8 o'clock it cleared up & 

336 Fort Wayne in 1790 

began to freeze pretty smart but not so cold as yesterday-night. 

22 Friday. Very fine day, not the least cold. It Thaws a 
good deal. — Young Mr. Lassell caught a Rabbit this morning 
in one of the snares he had laide for the purpose. 

Several Putewatomies arrived this afternoon with Peltry & 
a great quantity of meat — viz. Venison, Rackoons, Porcupine, 
Bare & Turkeys &c. the most of which Mr. Abbott bought ; 
the Blanket its what the Indians want most at present & no 
one else except Mr. Dufresne has any at this Post but Mr. 
Abbott. — Beautiful Evening, not the least cold. 

23 Saturday. Most beautifull day, quite warme — Seated 
about l / 2 an hour this morning on the River. Thaws a good 
deal which will soon carry off what little snow we have on the 

The Grie & Son arrived this afternoon from his wintering 
camps — He immediately sent for Mr. Ironside & me ; when we 
went to him, he addressed himself to me — Son says he, here is 
my Son your Brother who has brought you a little meat to 
make you some broth which he beggs you will accept, I should 
not says he have come myself, but my Son who is very bashfull 
asked me to come with him. 

24th Sunday. Very fine day, quite warm but dirty under 
foot owing to the great thawings. 

We played cards & supped at Mr. Adamhers last night, there 
was a good many Gentlemen their. The Gries Son's present 
consisted of four Turkeys, two leggs and two sides of Venison 
exceedingly f att. Sent a Turkey in a present to Mrs. Adamher 
— The Grie & Son breakfasted with us this morning according 
to invitation. 

25 th Monday. Very fine day— Froze hard last night. Spent 
the last Evening at Mrs. Scicotts — Mrs. Payett & Daughter 

Fort Wayne in 1790 i>Z7 

were their— Mr. B. Lassell, Francis Lassell 52 & Air. J. B. 
Richerville & myself went together— the fiddler came in about 
7 o'clock and we danced 'till about y 2 past 9 o'clock, then we 
broke up— took Mrs. Payett home & played her the Cuckold 
March. Frome that we adjourned to Mr. J. B. Lassells with 
the fiddler, w[h]ere we drank Grogg, & from that we went 
and Serenaded the young girls & women of the Village. 

Turned out cloudy & Gloomy about 12 o'clock and con- 
tinued so 'till the Evening & most part of the night — 

26th. No frost last night. This morning early it began to 
blow very hard & Snowed a little — Played cards last night at 
Mrs. Cicotts & serenaded the women again about 11 o'clock. 
Mr. Adamher informed me this [day] that a letter came to him 
yesterday directed to the Grie and to the Pishew (this last is 
Mr. J. B. Richerville) from the Porcupine & Soldier Chief of 
La Riviere a Languiell'e, telling them to have an eye over their 
young men & not to believe any false reports that goes about 
the county, that everything with respect to Lassell was totally 
false, & for the future not to believe those false reports, that 
they may depend upon it when ever any thing occurs they 
would send notice of it themselves, and never to hearken to any 
thing any one says except when it comes from people of char- 
acter and chiefs who may be depended upon — for they cannot 
tell a Lye — 

The Grie breakfasted with us this morning & went off imme- 
diately after for his wintering camp. Begins to freeze about 2 
o'clock, a very fine Evening. 

52Francis Lasselle was a nephew of Antoine; his father, Jacques Lasselle 
was Indian agent at Miamitown from 1776 until 1780. When La Balme attacked 
the place in the latter year he fled by boat down the Maumee River with his 

338 Fort Wayne in 1790 

27th. Wednesday. Very fine day — froze very hard all Night ; 
left off blowing about 8 o Clock last night. We had a little 
hopp last night at Mr. Adamhers sans ceremonie. Turned out 
thick & cloudy about 1 or 2 o Clock — and about 5 began to 
blow very fresh — freeze hard and a little Snow — The Gros 
Loup (a Mohicken Indian who has lived amongst the Miames 
ever since his Infancy), gave me a love letter which he picked 
up in some place or other — Its dated New Madrid, May 6th, 
1789 signed by J. S. Story and directed to Miss Betsey Gray, 
Ipswich Massechusech. 

This is my mothers Birth day- — God bless her — 42 years of 
age. 53 

28th. Thursday. A very bitter cold day, froze hard all night. 
Yesterday Evening arrived here a Mr. Lafontenne 54 a Trader 
who left this about 36 days ago — He went down the Wabache 
River then turned into the woods towards White River & 
their traded with the Indians. — he made 80 Deer Skins and 
about 500 Rackoons. — which he brought upon the horses he 
took out his goods upon — however he did not trade all his 
goods away, for he fetch'd some back — Its very extraordinary 
that meat was so difficult to be had that he & the Indian that 

ssMarie Julie Reaume was born at Detroit in 1748. She married Jehu Hay 
and became the mother of several children in addition to our journalist. She died 
at Detroit, March 23, 1795. In 1793 Henry Hay petitioned for 5000 acres of land 
by way of a pension for his mother, which was granted. See Mich. Pion. & Hist. 
Colls., XX, 691; XXIV, 557- 

54Probably Francis La Fontaine, who had been engaged in the Indian trade 
at Miamitown at least since 1780. According to La Balme's information, La Fon- 
taine was then in charge of the warehouse of Charles Beaubien, the principal 
trader of the place. Beaubien had married the mother of J. B. Richardville, the 
Marie Louisa of Hay's Journal. Enraged over the plundering of their ware- 
house, Beaubien and La Fontaine incited the Indians to make the attack upon 
La Balme which resulted in the destruction of his little force. La Fontaine had 
a son, Francis, who married a daughter of Richardville and upon the death of 
that chieftain in 1841 succeeded him as chief of the Miami. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 


was with him were five days feeding on acorns on their return 
home. The fifth day in the Evening he sent the Indian on the 
look-out for Indian hutts to purchase meat, who fell in with a 
large Rackoon Tree which he cutt down & found five in it, 
which was a great resource ; nothing extraordinary in the 
Indian Country. 

29th. Friday. Exceedingly cold all night, rather cloudy & 
thick this morning, about 10 'Clock began to snow. — Messrs. 
Adamher, Dufresne & La Fontenne played cards here last 
night — Turned out rather milder this afternoon; about 8v 
o'clock this Evening it began to blow & Snow very hard — 
The snow drifted a good deal — The wind did not continue long. 

30th. Saturday. Very fine day over head — a great deal of 
Snow fell this last night — Not quite so cold as yesterday morn- 
ing. — Began to freeze about 5 o'clock this evening — very clear 

31st. Sunday. Mild snowy morning, took a ride on a car- 
riolle this day with Mr. J. B. Richerville, as far as Mr. James 
Girtys House which is about two miles — Several Indians ar- 
rived this day from different places with peltry — This after- 
noon about 4 or 5 o'clock arrived here Mr. George Girty 
from his wintering camp with two loaded horses of Peltry. 
Brought with him his wife & two sisters in law (Indians) — He 
confirms the intention of Delawares going to the Spaniards in 
the spring, but says not many of them. Snowed the whole 
blessed day & part of the Evening. 

1st February. Monday. Snowy morning & very mild. Mr. 
G. Girty returned this day to his camp; Mr. Ironside accom- 
panied him & returned in the evening with his horses loaded 
with Peltry. — The Snow did not continue — very gloomy day — 

340 Fort Wayne in 1790 

Mr. James Girty 55 told me this Evening that Capt. Johnny 
Chief of the Shawanees was collecting all the Indians together 
to a Grande Council — 'He also shew'd me a red scalp which he 
got from a Delaware Indian ; the meaning of this Scalp he 
does not know as yet, but it seems it must be sent into Detroit 
by the first opportunity. 

2d Tuesday. Frooze exceedingly harde last night — Cold & 
Snowy morning — Turned out a very fine Sun Shiny day about 
l / 2 past 1 o'Clock — Still continues to freeze hard — Wind N. 
Several Ottawas came in this morning from hunting, & brought 
their furr with them — Mr. Cicotts man arrived this morning 
from their excursion to la Riviere a L'anguille. Left Mr. Ci- 
cott about three Leagues from here, his Horse having given 
out ; This man is to return to him immediately with a fresh 
one. Mr. Abbott, a Trader, of this place one of our disaffected 
subjects has been I'm told trying to traduce his brother 
Traders, by telling the Indians that every trader here was a 
Soldiar that the Good[s] they had was not theirs & that they 
were selling for other people — but, says he is quite different 
with me every thing that I have here is my own & I owe no 
one anything whatsoever — 

It seems that he collected some Indians this day at his House 
& told them that every Trader here has a pass & that they 
were obliged to have one, but as for him he had no such thing 
as a Pass, (which by the by is the case). 56 I'm further in- 

550n James Girty see supra note 36. For a comprehensive sketch of his 
career, see Thwaites and Kellogg, Frontier Defense on Upper Ohio, 234, 235, 
O. M. Spencer gives an unpleasing account of Girty's brutality toward him while 
a captive at Grand Glaize in 1792. op. cit., 43. 

">6For a contemporary account by William Robertson of the practice of 
issuing passes to those wishing to trade out of Detroit see Mich. Pion. & Hist. 
Colls., XI, 639. Robertson stated that at that time, (1788) passes were no longer 
required. Hay's statements on the subject seem to contradict this. 

Fort W 

AYXE IN I79O 341 

formed that he spoke to the Indians of Major Murray & Capt. 
McKee in so disrespectful! a manner that they are determined 
to send Strings of Wampum into Detroit immediately to 
informe them of it. There is several other things that has 
passed which has not as ye: to come to my ears. Mr. Cicott 
arrived about 3 o Clock this afternoon. 

3d. Wednesday. Froze very hard all last night — Cold morn- 
ing Wind N. Rather thick oyer head. Spent the Evening last 
night at Mr. Dufresne's played cards. — Mr. Abbott proposed 
my going with him as a Companion in the Spring to Port Yin- 
cennes — I told him I could not think of venturing my Carcass 
to such a place as that, among a parcel of renegards — This day 
about 12 o Gock arrived here Mr. Kinzie from Detroit which 
he left the 23d of last month — Received a letter from Major 
Murray and another from my Brother — also one from the 
Glaize from Mr. Sharpe acquainting me of his being obliged 
to leve my horse at that place as he had given out : and was in 
a bad condition — However Mr. Kinzie informs me that he's in 
a fair way at present owing to the good care of Mr. McDonnell 
who stays at the Glaize. — 

Mr. Kinzie tells me the Major is very well pleased with my 
conduct, for having informed him of what passed at this place 
& a great deal of party work at Detroit. Damn'd glad I'm not 
amongst them. I look upon it that Fm far better off at this 
place, tho' ever so much out of the World Haile and Raine 
this Evening about 7. 

4th. Thursday. Snowed and froze hard from 12 o'clock last 
night & till this morning early — Began to snow again about 8 
o'Clock & still continues. Geared up about 3 o'clock this after- 
noon — freezes hard this Evening. Very Winday. Several In- 
dians, (Principally Shawnee) arrived this Evening with a 
quantity of Peltry. The Snake has passed three days with us 

342 Fort Wayne in 1790 

here — He returned to his Camp this afternoon. — As we began 
some few days ago to establish a society, call'd the Most Light 
Honorable Society of the Monks, we have this Evening com- 
pleated it — Mr. Leith is appointed Grand Master and Commis- 
sary — Hay Secretary, J. B. Richerville, J. B. Lassell, Francis 
Lassell, Geo. Ironside & J. Kinzie, La Chambre, Musician to 
the Society. Rules are to be drawn out for which hereafter no 
one will be allowed to be a member without he gives his Honor 
that he will truely & voluntarily stick by them, and support 
them with all his might &c &c &c. 

5th. Friday. Little snow this morning early. Rather thick 
over head. The weather much milder; but still pretty cold — 
Saw Mr. Cicott yesterday — nothing in that part of the Indian 
Country that he's been in. — Turned faire about ^2 past ten 
o Clock. The sun out. — Mr. Ironside & James Girty are 
gone down this afternoon to the Shawanee's village about 3 
miles from here to try & get their peltry. 

Turned exceedingly cold about 12 o'clock — Very high wind 
— N. W. Mr. J. B. Richervilles mother arrived this day from 
her wintering camp — Went & paid her a visit about 1 O Clock — 
She has been a handsome woman — 

6th. Saturday. Supped last night with J. B. Lassell, Kinzie, 
Richerville & F. Lassell were there — we played cards till ^2 
past 1 oClock — Froze much harder & the cold much keener this 
last night than it has been this winter. Very beautifull Sun 
Shiny day & quite calme. Very mild Evening. 

7th. Sunday. A Little Snow this morning — High wind — S. 
Quite mild — It Thaws. Snow & very high wind this Evening. 

8th. Monday. Cold morning — Froze very hard most part of 
the night. The Rules of our Community (which is now call'd 
the Friars of St. Andrew ) are drawn out by the Grand Master 

Fort Wayne in 1790 343 

and this day to be copied and translated into French by the 
Secretary. This Evening Air. Leith collected the Friars of 
St. Andrew and made them acquainted with the articles they 
are to abide by. after which each member got a copy of them. 
9th Tuesday. Froze very hard all night & exceedingly cold 
— It continues very cold— altho' the Sun is out. Wind W. and 
very Strong all day, this day is absolutely the Coldest we have 
had this winter as far as this, & its the opinion of every one 
as well as myself. 

10th. Wednesday. Froze hard last night; Very fine clear 
day oyer head, but still very cold. Wind W. but not so strong 
as yesterday. Xot quite so cold this Evening as the last. 

nth. Thursday. Much milder than yesterday: Rather 
Clowdy & Thicker oyer head. — It was an excessive cold night 
notwith-standing. \ isited Airs. Adamher this afternoon — 
Copy'd off the two french songs that she made ; respecting her 
Stolen Pigg, — And the Miamies Recollects. 

1 2th. Friday. Very fine day oyer head. Rather colder than 
yesterday, Xot very cold this last night : it began to freeze hard 
about day breake. This afternoon arrived here one Claire- 
mont from the Petit Piconno, says Mr. Lassell arrived theire 
about 15 days ago. Nothing extraordinary in that part of the 
Country — was 8 days on his way here. 

13th Saturday. — very beautifull day. not the least cold. — 
Some Indians have lately been near the Ohio — on this side of 
it it seems they fell in with a Party of Americans, killed some 
of them & stole their horses, and took a negro Prisoner, one 
of those Indians a Shawanee who goes by the name of the 
Horse Jockey was wounded in the breast & hand by his own 
Tomvhauk which the American had wrested from him. The 

344 Fort Wayne in 1790 

Indian however got the better & killed him. The above ac- 
count we got several days ago. 

This morning about Yi past 10 oClock a Party of warriors 
of the Shawanies Nation brought in a Prisoner — They took 
him on this side of the Ohio at the mouthe of Kentuck. 

The Party that took him were out hunting last Spring, dur- 
ing which time some Miamis went to war and returned a dif- 
ferent road they went & passed by this hunting party, the 
Americans pursued them & fell in with the Hunters & killed 
several of them women & Children &c. one Joseph Sovereigns 
who had been a Prisoner from his infancy was killed at that 
place; — These People went out last fall to revenge themselves 
& took this Prisoner who was out hunting much about the 
same place w[h]ere their own people were killed. Mess. 
Leith, Ironside & myself went down to the Chilicothe village 
of Shawanese 57 — They were then in council — that is the young 
man who took the Prisoner was given a very minute Report 
of all what passed — which they are obliged to do — This party 
is not of this village, they belong to the Messessinoue 58 Vil- 
lage. The Reason for bringing him here is, that he's given to 
a man of this village. 

Little Raine & Sleete this afternoon, turned out Snow this 

14th. Sunday. Very disagreeable day. It thaws very much. 
— The Prisoner will not be hurt — Black Bairde Chiefe of the 
Chilicothe Village is not at home; Theire will be a ceremonv 
whe[n] he arrives to adopt this Prisoner — I forgot to mention 
that when they came in with him yesterday, he held in his hand 

57Two miles below Miamitown. 

58The modern Mississinewa. The Miami name of the stream is Na-ma-tci- 
sin-wi, meaning 'it slants," i. e., there is much fall in the river. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 345 

a Shishequia which he kept ringing in his hand, (its made of 
deer's hoofs) singing out lowde the words Oh Kentuck. His 
face was painted as black as Divils — which will be rubbed off 
as soon as he is adopted by one of the Roy 'I Family — He'll be 
washed & cleaned up &c. When they came into the Town they 
stopped at a French mans house — Several Indians of their ac- 
quaintance went up to them & shook hands with them & the 
Prisoner, which was a good sign respecting the latter ; — For 
we were apprehensive that they would burn him, as they went 
to war upon a revenge. They have its seems got a good many 
Horses this Trip. — Mr. Kinzie & Mr. James Girty went down 
this afternoon to see this Prisoner; Kinzie informed him that 
he need not be upon any apprehension for his life & that he wa,s . 
very lucky in being in hand that he was; Kinzie asked him 
where he was borne he answered Richmond in Virginia, tL.t v 
he left that place a little better than a month that he came thccl. 
the Wilderness to Kentucky to get a debt that was due him in 
that Country that he was Several 1 days in Kentucky — & not 
more than two at the mouthe of the River, when he was pro- 
posed by two other young men to cross the Ohio & hunt Turkey 
saying there was a great number of them, they had not been 
crossed but a very little time after separating themselves in 
different parts of the wood, when he perceived the other two 
making for the River, he did the same, but too late for they 
had already got into the Canoe & were actually crossing over, 
he attempted to take the woods but could not, the Indians 
him between them & the River, however he tryed what 
could do, & attempting to look round he received a k 
the forehead with a War Billet, (which was thrown b\ 
the Indians with an intention of hitting him in the Neck ) he 
was immediately seized by another Indian, the other 

346 Fort Wayne in 1790 

not to hurt him ; which they did not. — The Chiefe who was 
out hunting heard of a prisoner being taken sent word imme- 
diately that he should not be hurt — Its about fifteen days ago 
since he was taken — They have washed his face — but not his 
boddy, which will be done & also cleanly dressed when the 
Chiefe Black (Bairde) arrives, a Belt of Wampums is now 
making which will be thrown over his head when he's adopted 
& which he'll ware. He's being lately from Virginia shews very 
plainly that he was not in the action last Spring, and that some 
evil minded people who wanted to hurt him in the mind of 
the Indians — He's quite a young man, his name is McMullen. 

15th. Monday. Rained, Hailed, Thunder'd & Lightened 
^bput day breake this morning as if heaven & Earth was com- 
ing together — Still Rains — Did not raine much after 10 
©'Clock, but Springkled which made it very dis-grable — The 
weather much changed, we were obliged to open the windows 
almost all day. — Dined with J. B. Richerville in company 
with J. B. Lassell, F. L. & Kinzie. 

1 6th Tuesday. What with Thaw & Raine the Snow is 
almost off the Grounde. Rained pretty smart this morning — 

/Ramed verv hard all dav — 


17th Wednesday. Yesterday being Mardi Gras the Friars 
of St. Andrew, supped together at Mr. Richervilles. Mr. Iron- 
side' being unwell could not come. They sang a good many 
songs & retired to their cells in good time — The water has 
risen exceedingly this last night — at least 12 feet. Break- 
fasted this morning at Mr. J. B. Richervilles — Rained most 
part of the night. 

■1 8th. Thursday. Water much higher, it now runs thro the 
Village n such a manner that it separates it in three parts — » 
the place ;hat it runs in at, is quite rappid ; This part of Vil- 

Fort Wayne in 1790 


lage is quite low & small rising ground on each side, occasioned 
by the great flood last year, when it seems the people were 
obliged to desert their houses & take for the Rising Hills in the 
woods & their encamp. The water is now within two feet of 
being level with the bank of the River which is not less than 
eighteen feet high, the River is at present about twice as 
broad as it was, before the water began to rise. Weather quite 
Milde but Clowdy. Water enough in the River for the 
Rebecca 59 to Swim in. The rappid so very strong, that its as 
much as two men can do- to bring up a Canoe. 

We are obliged to make use of Peerogues or Canoes to go 
to see those people who live on the other two Islands occa- 
sioned by the water — Sun shined about 4 o'Clock, turned a 
beautifull Evening untill about 8 or 9 o'Clock when it became 
Clowdy & Thick. After sun sett Mr. Leith, Ironside, Kinzie 
& myself and some french men, carried a long flatt piece of 
Timber & placed it across the narrowest part of the run & fall 
which enters from the River for the purpose of crossing more 
at our ease, as we are often obliged to be going backwards & 
forwards from our house to that of Mr. Leiths — it makes a 
very good Bridge. 

19th. Wednesday. Raine this morning early: — Pretty smart 
— a thin sleety raine continues which makes it very disagree- 
able — Rather a Raw day. Water still Rising. This after- 
noon about 2 o'clock arrived here from Detroit one Jerome a 
french man in Mr. Leiths employ with a Horse load of Blankets 
and Robedoux who left this for Detroit 19th. Jany on Mr. A. 
Lasells affairs — They came as far as Roche de Bout in Slays — 

o9The "Rebecca" was a government armed vessel of 136 tons, built at Detroit 
in 1782. When used as a merchant vessel she carried a complement of fifteen 
men; when equipped as a war vessel, thirty-five men. Mich. Pion. & Hist. Colls., 



348 Fort Wayne in 1790 

Received letters from my Brother, Meredith, Baby & Mr. Rob- 
ertson — the last respecting one Chevalier at Petit Piconno, 
which Mr. Robertson had heard was dead, but no such thing. 
The ice began to float down the River about 3 o'Clock this 
afternoon but soon stopped. 8 o'Clock the River is quite 
choacked up with Ice & the water Rising very fast, its now 
equal with the Banks of the river. 9 o'Clock some of the Ice 
entirely over one part of the Bank. — My Horse which Mr. 
Sharpe left at the Glaize is dead, — not owing to the fatigue 
he got, but a small worme which has killed a great number of 
Horses — he was fatt when he died. Played cards at Mr. 
Dufresne's this Evening, with Mr. and Mrs. Adamher. 

20th Saturday. — Began to raine this morning about day 
breake excessively hard & left off about 8 or 9 o'Clock — A 
great fogg this morning. Our bridge across the Run carried 
off — The Ice has totally choaked up the entrance of Run so 
much that it answers in lieu of the bridge, the River is choaked 
up in the same manner, a Person might easily cross the River 
upon it. — Fogg cleared up about 10 o'Clock & began to blow 
pretty fresh. — Went to Mr. Cicotts this day to inform myself 
Respecting Piere Chevallier trader at Tipiconno for Mr. Rob- 
ertson, from one Cleremont who lately came from that place 
but he could not give me so good an account of him as Mr. 
Cicott who went theire himself this winter — he says some 
time in December last this Chevallier was robbed by the 
Potuwatomie Indians, in the night when asleep owing to his 
not making his door fast, that he got some of his goods back, 
and that what they got was not considerable — Mr. Cicott says 
that its risking Property too much, to let him have it, as he 
lives in the woods with only one man with him continually 
exposed to the malice & treachery of the Indians about him — 

Fort Wayne in 17 349 

that he means to come to this place very early in the Spring 
and will send in a few packs to Mr. Robertson. 

11 o"Clock. Wind seems to increase — About 3 'Clock this 
afternoon the Ice floated down the River 6c the Run all in a 
body. I don't think I ever saw a grander sight : a number of 
Loggs & Trees, stumps of trees &c came down upon it. The 
River is now pretty clear except the run which is full from 
the mouthe till about halfway. The water which ris imme- 
diately on the ice's going, is — now lowering much — I must 
observe that a little time before the Ice went off that two 
Miami Indians walked over it. a third was on his wav when 
the Ice began to move, he was obliged to return immediately; 
The Ice made a great :::ise when i: came down. The water 
touched Mr. Payett's step into his house and very near that 
of Mr. Cicotts — The Ice was by large lumps jumbled up 
together which occasioned the noise, as they Ran one over the 
other. — Rather Raw this Evening. — Raine from 7 to 

21" Sunday. Beautifull morning. The River quite clear of 
Ice — The Run still choaked up — Water about four feet lower. 
— about 10 or 11 o'Clock the Run got clear of Ice. About 1 
or 2 o'Gock it began to raine &: continued 'till the Evening. — 
A Great deal of Ice came down this afternoon, a good deal of 
it went thro' the Run — Water rise a good deal this afternoon. — 
a great quantity of Ice a: the bottom of the Run. a great quan- 
tity of Wood. Old Trees &c. came down with the Ice this Even- 
ing. This evening I was sen: for by Mr. J. B. Lassell to be a 
witness to his marriage with -Miss Rivarre. Mr. Adamher. 
Mr. De Seleron and Mr. Barthelemie were also witness — 

22nd. Monday. The finest day I have seen for some time — 
A good deal of Ice still floating.— The Centre of the Run 

35P Fort Wayne in 1790 

choaked up. — a great quantity of Trees, Stumps, &c. floating 
down this morning — Froze a little last night. 12 o'Clock — Mr. 
Leith got the people to make a Bridge with the loggs that 
floated into the mouthe of the Run — Very little Ice floating 
at Present. 

23rd. Tuesday. Damn'd disagreeable day. Rained most 
Part of the night, Thunder a little at a distance ; Snowed about 
day breake. Yesterday rote Meredith, Jack Robertson, Wm. 
Robertson & my Brother, and this morning wrote to Thorns. 
McKee. 60 Not the least sign of Ice on the River. Raine most 
part of the afternoon — Thunder & Lightning about 5 o'Clock, 
& rained exceedingly hard. Mr. Ironside shewed me how to 
know when the Lightning & Thunder is near — As soon as it 
lights you Count the number of Seconds between it & the 
thunder, & each second, its 1120 feet off — multiply this by 
the number of seconds, divide by 3 & it will give you yards 
and by 1760 & it will give you the distance in miles should it 
be 10 far. 

24th. Wednesday. Some time in the night Mr. Kinzie came 
in to informe us that the water was rising very high that it 
was already at his Step — He came in again about day breake 
& told us it was entirely in his House, desired he might bring 
his apprentices here & also stay himself with us — The water 
is amasingly high obliged to make use of a canoe to fetch Mr. 
Leith here, the water rising close to his Door — Airs. & Miss 
Payee obliged to fly theire House about 12 o'Clock in the 
night & take refuge at Mr. Barthelmies, Mr. & Mrs. Cicott 
were obliged also to go up to their Garrett. Mr, Lorains, Mr. 
Lafontaine Houses & Mr. Kinzie's Shopp where he works ; s 

60Son of Alexander McKee, and for many years in the British Indian 

Fort Wayne in 1790 v 351 

an Island of itself. A river runs on each side of them the 
same at Mr. Leiths, but the last will soon be overflooed — 9 
o'Clock, Its at present not far from our own door — Obliged 
to cut down Picketts & make a road thro the different yards, 
the Streets and Bank entirely overflooed — Blows excessively 
hard — Raine most part of the Morning — Oun House quite 
surrounded with water — Runs amasingly in the cellar — Mr. 
Leith obliged to desert his. — Every House almost in the 
village is in the same Predicament — we are all obliged to put 
our trunks & things in the lofte — We are now Prepared for 
its coming in the House— Mr. Leith & Kinzie put up a stove 
in the loft of the Company's House — Mr. Ironside & myself 
joined them this afternoon — The water came into the house 
about 3 o'Clock, a good deal came up from the cellar. After 
Supper which was about 6 o'Clock Mr. Leith returned to his 
own Garrett. Mr. Ironside & myself got under way in the 
Canoe to return to our Garrett, but we were very unfortunate, 
just as we came into the rappidest part of the water, a whirl 
Pool very near oversett the Canoe, Mr. Ironside who was 
steering, slipped backwards & fell into the water, the canoe had 
then greate way & lucky enough arrived close to the upper 
part of the Picketts of the Grave Yarde which I immediately 
took hold of & held fast by them standing on the ribbon, 
pushed the Canoe off immediately with the lads that were 
in it, who got down the Current in time to save him. He says 
when the canoe came up to him, he was just gone — The lads 
took him into one Mr. J. Morris— & came immediately back for 
me — I got some dry clothes for him at Mr. Adamhers — 
Water not rising much. 

25th. Thursday. Water very little higher than it was— Blue 
and froze excessivelv hard this last night— Very fine sun 

352 Fort Wayne in 1790 

shiny day. As I'm not overfond of Canoes I do not mean to 
return to the Compys House. — Breakfasted at Mr. Adamhers 
& I'm engaged to dine there also. 11 o'Clock, Water seem- 
ingly Rising — 

26th. Friday. Very little frost last night. — Gloomy day — 
Water rose a little last night & is still rising. — Canoes goes 
thro several yards ever since the day before yesterday. There 
is not above three Houses that you can walk to without wet- 
ting yourself or going in a Canoe. Went in a Pirogue with 
J. B. Richerville & F. Lassell & paid a visit to Mr. Leith in 
the Friponne, 61 also to Mrs. Cicott in her Garrett — This last 
House has at least water half way up to the Garrett Floor — 
Sun shined about Yi past 12 o'Clock. Pd. J. B. Lassell a visit 
alone. The water had obliged Richerville to quit his House & 
go to his mother's, Her House is very high from the Earthe, 
which prevents the water coming to it as soon as the others. 

27th. Saturday. Wind began to blow very hard last night 
about 10 o'Clock & continued the most part of the night. — 
Froze very hard — Water lowered a little — Very fine day — 1 
o'Clock — Water still falling. High wind this afternoon, S. W. 
About Sun sett the wind dyed away & it became a perfect 
Calme : A very beautifull Evening — Water has fallen about 4 
inches at least this day. 

28th. Sunday. Froze very hard last night. Water fallen 
about 15 Inches since last night. Very fine Sun shiny day — 

6iProbably this term is used in the sense of warehouse. Toward the close 
of the French regime in Canada royal storehouses were established at Quebec 
and Montreal. Because of the officials peculations that developed in connection 
with their administration both the storehouse at Quebec and the one at Montreal 
became popularly known as La Friponne, or The Cheat. See Francis Parkman, 
Montcalm and Wolfe (Boston, 1885), II, 24. It seems probable that the term 
passed into more or less general use as the designation for storehouses at the 
French posts. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 

Our floor quite dry— Payed a visit to Mr. Abbott this after- 
noon in comp'y with Miss. Adamher, Dufresne & Coco Las- 
sell — from that we went to see Mr. Lafontaine. — Coco got 
damned drunk — After those visits, J. B. Lassell, J. B. 
Richerville & Francois Lassell & myself gave the ladys a row 
upon & down the River, the fiddler played a few tunes and 
myself on the flute. 

1 March. Monday. Water has fallen at least two feet since 
yesterday — Froze hard and snow'd a good deal this morning. 
10 o'clock Its now thawing which makes it very dirty & 
disagreeable — Water still falling very much. — 6 o'clock — 
Little Raine & Sleete this Evening — The snow entirely gone. 

2d. Tuesday. Very dark disagreeable day — Water fallen 
greatly, the Bank entirely dry — but very much worne away — 
particularly opposite to Blue Jacketts door its not above five or 
six feet wide — before it was at least 10 or 12. , Mr. Leith & 
Kinzie have moved back to us this morning. Yesterday after- 
noon Mr. Ironside & Myself moved our baggage down from 
the Lofte. — This day The King of the Shawnee called the 
{Wolfe) Capt. Snake & another Chiefe of the same Nation 
came to this place — that a meeting should be made of the Prin- 
cipal Traders & Inhabitants of the place, which was done— He 
then got up and spoke as follows — Fathers & Brothers here 
assembled, this is to acquaints you that we are now going to 
gather all our straggling nation together and build a village 
a little distance up from here — for which we have to request 
you will let us have a little Tobacco & Vermillion — by & when 
our village is Built we shall hold a grand Council & informe 
you of our Wants — What we want now is to rise the hearts 
of our young men. And you may be assured you shall lose 
nothing by it, for we mean to cultivate the land and rase a 

354 Fort Wayne in 1790 

good deal of corn & will recompense you for your present 
kindness to us — The people all of a voice announced that 
they approved very much of theire coming to live together in 
one place — And gave them what they wanted — The String 
of Wampum was given to Mr. Adamher — The Chillcothy 
tribe of Shawaneese who have their village a little distance 
down from here are not to move. — Raine, Snow & Northerly 
Wind this afternoon. Snow's and freezes very hard this 

3rd. Wednesday. Excessively cold all night & continues to 
be SO' — blowed also very hard all night &c Ice floating down 
the River this morning — Water quite low, the entrance of the 
Gully dry. Amazingly cold all day & blew very hard — Two 
of the Shawanee Chiefs went off this day ; Snake remained — 
Capt. Johnny came up this day from his Village. 

4th. Thursday. Froze hard all night. A little snow — not 
near so colde this morning as yesterday — Rather an obscure 
day. No wind. Its very curious how the water has rise & 
spread itself in this Country in about thirty years — There is 
an old French woman in this place of the name of Barthelmie 
who says she recollects when the banks of the River were so 
near one to another and consequently the River so narrow, 
that at low water the children used to jump over it. Seated 
this morning at the Bottom of the Gully opposite Mrs. Payees. 
Turned out a very fine afternoon — Thaw's very much. Snake 
gone home. 

5th. Friday. Froze hard last night. Windy, dark day — 
Thaws a good deal. To shew what rascalls their is in this 
place — one Lucie a Canadian who was in Mr. Abbotts service 
was seen carrying off a Bundle of Hay this morning by Mr. 
Leith & J. Forsythe which he stole out of the Friponne, thro' 

Fort Wayne in 1790 355 

the window. — (The Property of Mr. Leith's) The fellow at 
first denied it, but when he found there were such convincing 
proofs against him, he acknowledged it, by saying there was 
no harme in taking a little Hay. It's some time now that the 
Hay has been Perceived going damned fast ; Mr. Kinzie has 
at the same time a good deal of property in the said House — 
Mr. Adamher however has sent him a summons to appear 
before him at Mr. Leithes desire. The fellow appeared is 
obliged to get security for his good behaviour hereafter. 

Raine most part of the afternoon. This afternoon, the Lit- 
tle Turtle, the Grees wife & Brother arrived here with some 
other of their family from their wintering & hunting Ground. 
The Grie has been sick but is now getting better. 

6th. Saturday. Raine & high wind all night — Very dirty 
disagreeable darke Clowdy day, Wind blows very hard. 4 
o'Clock. Begins to freeze very hard. 

7th. Sunday. Froze excessively hard all last night. — Very 
cold Windy day. This morning the Little Turtle, The Gries 
Brother &c. left this for their home — Sent a pound of Tobacco 
to the Grie with my Compliments. This afternoon Mr. Leiths 
pierogue arrived here from Roch de Bout, which left this the 
24th Feby. 

8th. Monday. An excessive cold day, Wind blows very hard 
&c A great deal of Ice floating down the River. Clowdy & a 
little Snow in the morning — but turned out very clear in the 

9th. Tuesday. Very fine Sun Shiny day — not so cold as 
yesterday and very calme. The River full of floating Ice. 

Three months this day I left Detroit. 

10th. Wednesday. Very mild day— Very thick over head— 
a great deal of Snow fell this last night. This day the Chili- 

356 Fort Wayne in 1790 

cothy young men came down from the place where The Town 
is to be built, they have already finished the Council House, 
which is by all accounts a very long one. This afternoon one 
Shirelock arrived here from his wintering ground, (he trades 
for Mr. Leith) in consequence of one Montroills stealing his 
Propperty to the amount of Twenty Eight Bucks he has 
brought the fellow with him — This Montroille is a fellow who 
has abandoned himself totally & lives amongst the Indians, 
those kind of people are of the worst, they are very pernicious 
to the Trade who fill the Indians Heads with very bad notions 
& think nothing of Robbin the Traders Property ; when they 
have an opportunity, such Rascalls ought to be dealt with very 
severely and totally excommunicated from the Indian Country. 

nth. Thursday. Rather cold this morning, but still thick 
and Clowdy over head. Montroille appeared this morning 
who ownes the deed. Shirelock told him it was no more of 
his business that the property he robbed was Mr. Leiths & 
that it lay in his Breast what should be done to him — He 
makes great promises and says that he will hire himself to 
Mr. Leith & work out what he Robbed ; Mr. Ironside told him 
he would speake to Mr. Leith about it. I believe this matter is 
now settled the man is to work out the value of what he 
stole — Turned out a very fine day about 12 O'Clock. 

1 2th. Friday. Sott up all night with Mr. Adamher & some 
more Gentlemen at Mr. Lorrains who has been very ill near 
Eight months. He fell in a kind of a Trance last Tuesday 
afternoon about 4 o'Clock and continued so untill this day at 
12 oClock and died — during the time he was in this situation 
he took no nourishment whatever, his Eyes were shut, had 
no hearing, kept constantly blowing & now & then coughed a 

Fort Wayne in 1790 357 

little.— He was the oldest Inhabitant of this Place & Environs, 
he has been here &c 40 years 62 — 

Very disagreeable dirty day, It thaws very much. A good 
deal of Raine this Evening. 

13th. Saturday. Very fine day, but very muddy & dirty 
under foot ; Blows excessively hard. Mr. Lorain was buried 
this day. The young Volunteers of the place gave him three 
Vollies at the request of some of the Pincipal People here, in 
Honor to his services rendered to the 'King of Great Britains, 
and long Residence in this place. I shewed them how to Pro- 
ceed respecting the manouvers, the word of Command was 
given by one Vivie who has been a Drummer in the late 84th. 
Regt. 1 B'n 

14th. Sunday. Very beautifull day quite calme — Froze a 
little last night & a little snow before day Breake. This day 
Mr. Geo. Girty came down from his wintering Camp. Snake 
came down also to day from his village, he dined and got very 
drunk at Mr. Abbotts. It seems that that Gentleman wants 
Snake to accompany him to the Post, but he'll find himself 
mistaken for the other would not go with him upon any 

15th. Monday. Very fine day, a little frost last night — 
Wind rather high.— Sherlock & Geo. Girty returned this day 
to their wintering place. Turned thick & Clowdy about 1 
oClock — and quite calme — A very dark Evening. 

1 6th. Tuesday. Rained most part of the night— Thunder 
at a Distance, about day breake — A great number of Pigeons 

62The census of 1769 includes Lorraine's name among the nine heads of 
families then at Miamitown. In 1763 he, or another of the same name, was at 
Ouiatanon when the savages overpowered the English garrison, Lorraine and 
another Frenchman were instrumental in saving the lives of the captives. See 
Indiana Historical Society, Pubs., II, 335. 440. 

358 Fort Wayne in 1790 

flying about this morning. Very calme but clowdy & thick. 
Began to Raine about 11 oClock & continued all day — The 
water has rose a good deal since last night. 

17th. Wednesday. St. Patrick's — Rained excessively hard 
all night & still continues to raine a little — Water rose since 
last night at least ten feet & still rises very fast, it now runs 
into the Gully — Blows pretty fresh. I'm much afraide that 
we shall have a second flood. Left off raining about 11 or 12 
o'Clock. Turned out a very fine afternoon and Evening. 
Sent Mr. Abbott a String of Potatoes. 

1 8th. Thursday. Raw, Clowdy day. Froze very hard last 
night. Water has rose very high, even with the bank — Mr. 
Payees People obliged to quit theire House — and its equal 
with the step of Kinzie & Cicotts doors. However I believe 
the Frost will stop its progress. Cleared up about io'Clock and 
turned out a very fine afternoon & Evening ; Water still rose 
all day, altho' there was a Frost, — about a foot. 

19th. Friday. Very beautifull day; Froze hard last night. 
Water has rose very little, Its almost at a stand. — Water be- 
gan to fall a little this afternoon — 

20th Saturday. Very fine morning, rather heazy. Wind at 
S. warme ; Very little Frost last night, the water had fallen 
about 5 inches & better since yesterday afternoon. 

2 1 st. Sunday. Very beautifull day. Quite warme & Calme 
— Not the least frost last night; The water falls very slowly, 
not a foot since yesterday. A party of Shawanees arrived from 
war at their village the 19th instant. — They have brought 
three Prisoners & a negro man. It seems that another party 
of them attacked a boat wherein there was an officer & about 
21 men. They killed every one of them; Sank the Boat & hid 
every utensill they found in it, in the woods. They also took 

Fort Wayne in 1790 359 

nineteen persons near Limestown which they have all Pris- 
oners except 2 or 3. The first party were the Chilicothy Peo- 
ple — & the others the Picowees. One of the above Prisoners 
told Mr. Kinzie this morning the General St. Claire came 
down the Ohio, to the Bigg Miami, about Christmas last. This 
man's name is John Witherington, comes from a place called 
Limestown. They also got a great quantity of Linnen out of 
this Boat — It seems that their was several other parties out, 
some of the Catawas or Cherokees were out also; at any rate 
their was at least 40 souls taken & killed. This John Wither- 
ington's family is separated from him, he has a wife 7 months 
gone with childe & 7 children, which some of the other Parties 
have got Prisoners. 63 

22. Monday. Clowdy morning, very hard shower of Raine 
in the course of the Night ; Very calme — water falls so very 
slowly that its hardly perceivable — The Miamias of the oppo- 
site side danced from 7 oClock last Evening untill this morning 
at day breake ; they were taken in what they call their Natt, 
which is with them, like the Colours of a Regiment, with us ; 
they take it out to war with them, and when they return, there 
is a ceremony of taken it into the Council House, Chiefs House 
or Place where they keep theire Trophies. It seems that this 
Natt has been out ever since last fall. Thus custom prevailes 
amongst all the Indian Nations. But there are a number of 
Tribes who have not those Natts. 

23rd. Tuesday. Clowdy day. Quite calme & not the least 
cold — A little raine last night — water fallen a good deal 
since yesterday. — An Indian, a Miami arrived last Evening 
from the Post, brought a letter to Mr. L. Dubois from one 

63For accounts of similar raids upon the Americans in the vicinity of Cin- 
cinnati at this time see Amer. St. Papers, Ind. Affs., I, 86 — 91. 

360 Fort Wayne in 1790 

Perret Gamlains, Notary Public of that place ; Nothing extra- 
ordinary in that part of the Country ; the Garrison consists of 
upward of one Hundred men, & officers &c. This Indian has 
passed the winter about the Environs of Post Vincennes. 

Their seemingly is a very great want of Provisions in that 
place — the Garrison the same, They are obliged to kill the cat- 
tle belonging to the settlers. 64 

24th. Wednesday. Very Clowdy morning, but turned out 
a very fine day about 12 or 1 oClock. Water fallen greatly; 
The Gully clear of water, but very muddy — Geo. Girty re- 
turned this day from the woods. One John Thompson who 
was taken amongst the 19 mentioned the 21st Instant — came 
here this day — He informed me that their was a great talk 
of raising men to come against the Ind's ; However General 
St. Clair who is now at the Bigg Miami with two boat loads 
of goods, means to call the Indians together at a Council at 
Post Vincennes — But if the Indians do not come to a settle- 
ment with them, they mean to fight them. He says that he 
understood about Christn — [torn] A War was [torn] be- 
tween [four leaves missing] this morning of which a descrip- 
tion is here with inserted in this Paper — Waited upon all the 
people of yeplace this morning, and bid them farewell. Dined 
at Mr. Adamhers & received the letters of that family, thanked 
them for the politeness and attention they paid me during my 
stay at the Miamies. Settled with Marie Louisa, respecting a 
Horse which she is to purchase and send in to me by her son 
Mr. J. B. Richerville. Left the Miamis about y 2 past 12 
oClock. had the pleasure at the same time of being told by 
Mr. & Mrs. Adamher that I was much regretted by every one 
in the village. Stopped about 9 leagues below the Miamis abt 

64During the winter of 1789-90 the inhabitants of Vincennes were in a con- 
dition bordering upon starvation. See Dunn, Indiana, 269. 

Fort Wayne in 1790 361 

5 oClock in the afternoon : stopped a leake in our Peerogue, 
made a fire and put up our tent : Began to raine about 4 
oClock ; Rained very hard almost all the night. 

2d April Friday. About )/ 2 past 2 oClock got under way, the 
Rain being over & moon lighte. Stopped at 11 leagues below 
the place we slept at last night : at the Indian YVigwaum from 
whom we got the Rackoon last fall going out ; The two french- 
men that are with us bought some sugar for Tobacco — The 
Ind'n gave Mr. Leith & me a large piece, for which we gave 
him some Bread in return : Mr. Leith promised to send him 
some Tobacco. Arrived at the Glaize at Mr. McDonnels about 
4 oClock this afternoon — hich is 30 Leagues from the Miami 
Town. Just before sun sett Messrs. Sheppard & Sharpe ar- 
rived from Detroit, they left their Peerogue in the morning 
and walked up — They left Detroit the 24th. March. As they 
left the letters in the Pierogue we can not get them till tomor- 
row morning. 

3d. Saturday. I cannot help mentioning how very hospita- 
bly we were received by Mr. McDonnell who gave us the best 
he had — he was also so obliging as to give me several cakes 
of Mapell Sugar one of which is for Richard with his Com- 
pliments — he likewise gave me a few Turkey wings. We 
parted with him & Messrs. Shepherd & Sharpe about y 2 past 8 
oClock. Met with Mr. Shepherds pierogue about 2 leagues be- 
low the Glaize Mr. Leith took his letter out of Mr. Shepherds 
Trunk & I took one from my Brother out of Mr. Sharpes. 
agreeable to their desire — Arrived at Mr. ]. Cochrans about 
34 past 5 oclock which is 15 leagues from the Glaize. Stopped 
a little & got a little maderia & grogg, from where proceeded 
down the Rapids, 65 

65Apparently the concluding portion of the Journal has been destroyed. 
In its present condition it closes abruptly at this point. 


V0L - 7 NO. 6 







Company F, 27th Indiana. 


Company F, 27th Indiana Cavalry. 

Tallest Man in Union Army. 


Company F, 27th Indiana. 

Killed at Antietam. 


"One thing will certainly interest you— that it is evident, 
from our statistics, that the Indiana men are the tallest of 
all natives of the United States, and these latter the tallest 
of all civilized countries." This statement to Adjutant- 
General Terrell, in a letter from Dr. B. A. Gould, of the 
United States Sanitary Commission, during the tabulation 
of the measurements of Union soldiers in the Civil war. 
was the original inspiration of this publication. Later 
investigations by Doctor Gould showed that the Union 
soldiers from Kentucky and Tennessee averaged one-third 
of an inch taller than the Indiana men. Subsequent inves- 
tigations by Doctor Baxter, of the Provost-Marshal-Gen - 
eral's office, added Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, California 
and Nevada to Kentucky and Tennessee as having taller 
men than Indiana; but the total men measured from these 
seven states were less than half the number of Indiana men 
measured. Moreover, Doctor Baxter's research showed 
that the men from the Second Congressional District of 
Indiana surpassed in height, by nearly one-third of an inch, 
the men of any of these seven states. 

The district measurements were peculiarly striking as 
showing that the men from the Second were half-an-inch 
taller than those from the next highest district in Indiana ; 
nine-tenths of an inch above the average for the State; 
and one and one-third inches above the lowest district. 
Doctor Gould's attention had been especially drawn to 
Indiana by Company F, of the Twenty-seventh Indiana. 
in which he said there were sixty-seven men out of 101 who 
were recorded at six feet or over ; and which included the 


368 Washington County Giants 

tallest man in the Union army whose record was complete, 
measuring 82.5 inches in his stocking-feet. 

Recent inquiry as to the ancestry of Gen. Thomas Jack- 
son Rodman, the inventor of "the Rodman gun," developed 
the fact that he was of a family included in what were 
known as "the Washington County Giants," in an early 
day; and, as Washington county was in the Second District, 
attention was turned to this indication of an explanation of 
the Civil war record. Mr. Harvey Morris, of Salem, kindly 
undertook to gather up what information could be had at 
this time as to these colossal Hoosiers, their antecedents, 
and their descendants; and his valuable paper follows. To 
it have been appended the pertinent parts of the reports of 
Doctors Gould and Baxter; extracts from the history of 
the Twenty-seventh regiment, and contemporary news- 
paper comments on Company F; an earlier article on 
"Washington County Giants," by Warden W. Stevens, to 
which Mr. Morris refers ; a tabulation of measurements of 
Indiana forces in the Spanish-American war, specially pre- 
pared for this publication; a tabulation of mean stature of 
soldiers in the World war, as thus far completed, furnished 
by the surgeon-general's office; and some biographical 
information concerning Capt. David V. Buskirk, "the tallest 
man in the Union army." 

As will be seen from the appendices, there has been no 
little discussion of the meaning of these statistics by biome- 
tricians, for it is obvious that average differences in stature 
are not matters of chance, but are produced by some cause. 
The discussions show some marked differences of opinion, 
which is quite natural; but they leave the impression that 
an error has been made in dismissing suggested causes, 
individually, on the ground that the cause under discussion 

Washington County Giants 369 

would not of itself explain all the facts. The Civil war 
statistics show that the drafted men of the Second Con- 
gressional District of Indiana not only averaged taller than 
those of any other Indiana district, but also taller than the 
average of any other State represented in the Union army. 
Probably Doctors Gould and Baxter were right in their 
surmise that the drafted men did not average as tall as 
the volunteers. In this case there had been a special selec- 
tion of tall men for Company F, of the Twenty-seventh 
regiment and it is known that this occurred in some other 
States. Quite possibly the conditions may be due to a 
combination of causes, and all possible causes are worthy of 

Heredity is presumably the chief influence on stature, 
but it is not a constant influence. One of its manifestations 
in Indiana is the superior average stature in the southern 
part of the State, which was largely settled from the South. 
As shown by all the statistics, the people of the southern 
States, with the exceptions of Louisiana and Florida, aver- 
age taller than the people of the northern States. In 
Indiana families there are found the usual characteristics 
of heredity in this respect, of deviations from the type and 
recurrence to the type — or "throw-backs," as they are com- 
monly called. An illustration of this is found in the notes 
on the Buskirk family, appended, which produced the 
tallest man in the Union army. 

Age is another unquestionable factor in comparative 
measurements. Doctor Gould fixes the age of full stature 
at thirty years; and the consensus of opinion is that it is 
not less than twenty-five years. The average age of sol- 
diers at enlistment is commonly less than that. In the 
Civil war, of the 118,254 measurements given by Terrell, 

3/0 Washington County Giants 

75,135 were under twenty-five years. In the Spanish- 
American war two-thirds of the Indiana troops measured 
were under twenty-five. In the World war figures, the 
average of muster-out stature is larger than that of muster- 
in stature, as would be expected in the case of youthful 
soldiers under good sanitary conditions. But in this regard, 
the averages for Indiana are exceptions to the rule, the 
muster-out stature being less. This may possibly be 
explained by the smaller number, and different persons 

It seems clear that, on the average, those who migrate 
to new countries, or to frontiers, are taller than those who 
do not; although Doctor Baxter dismisses this proposition 
with the statement: "It is yet to be shown that enterprise 
and ambition depend upon stature, and not on qualities 
of the mind." But enterprise and ambition are not the only 
controlling factors in such movements. Strength and en- 
durance are fully as important, on account of the hardship 
of travel, and usually the hardship of life after migration. 
For example, before the building of the Pacific railroad the 
number of people who went to the Far West for their 
health was comparatively negligible, but now it is very 
considerable. Pioneer life in America has never been one 
of ease, and therefore never attractive to the weak or 
infirm ; and the statistics indicate that this process of selec- 
tion takes taller people, on the average. 

Thus, the Civil war statistics show that the natives of 
New York and New England who enlisted in the West 
were taller, at all ages, than those who enlisted at home. 
They show that our foreign born soldiers were uniformly 
taller than the average of their respective nationalities at 
home. In the World war, the natives of Alaska, and of the 

Washington County Giants 371 

States nearest frontier conditions, rank among the highest. 

In fact the whole history of the United States supports this 
view, for the stature of Americans has been the subject of 
comment for more than a century, although all Americans 
were immigrants from Europe, or descendants of such im- 
migrants. Quotations are unnecessary, but a typical one 
is the following statement by Morris Birkbeck. 105 years 
ago : "Nine out of ten native Americans are tall and long- 
limbed, approaching or even exceeding six feet." 

On the other hand, after a region ceases to be frontier, 
and travel becomes comfortable, immigration loses this 
characteristic. This is strikingly illustrated by the small 
stature of the natives of Kentucky and Tennessee who 
served in the Indiana forces in the Spanish-American war; 
while the pioneer immigrants to Indiana from those States 
were notoriously of large stature. It is probable that when 
the measurements of the World war are fully tabulated, 
they will furnish very decisive evidence on this point. 

In fact there is a wide field for future investigation, both 
as to causes of stature and the period of full growth; and 
there are many existing collections of measurements that 
would throw light ori both, if they were tabulated. For 
example, the Bertillon measurements of criminals, which 
have been so widely kept in the United States for a number 
of years, and which have been tabulated as to nearly every- 
thing but stature, would no doubt add largely to the sum of 
our information; and this would be an excellent field for 
college and university work by students of biology. 

There can be no doubt that climate, soil and food have 
influences on both animal and vegetable life. The thesis 
of Prof. Frederic Starr that the development of the white 
race in America has been steadilv in the direction of the 

2rf2 Washington County Giants 

characteristics of the American Indian has very tangible 
foundation. The occurrence of great stature in special 
localities is probably due, in part at least, to these 
influences, though it is not to be traced easily. One fact 
that might have some effect in this line is unquestionable, 
and that is that the people of the Central West are not 
now confined to a diet of the products of that region to any 
such extent as they were in the earlier period. 

The effect of in-door employment in checking growth has 
long been recognized in Europe, and it is presumably begin- 
ning to show in this country. The use of alcoholic liquors 
in the period of growth is generally conceded to retard it; 
but this would presumably have no material effect in com- 
parative measurements in the United States. There may, 
of course, be effective causes that have not been suggested 
in the discussion of the subject thus far. 

It is notable that there has been little consideration of 
pre-natal influences; and yet it seems obvious that the 
influences that have been mentioned could not account for 
differences in a single family, with common parentage, and 
no apparent change in external conditions. In such cases 
it would seem necessary that the explanation must be found 
in pre-natal influences of some kind. In this connection 
it is of interest that recent experiments of Doctor Stocker, 
at Woods Hole, are said to show that the presence of 
iodine, at certain stages of embryonic development, pro- 
motes stature; and even tends to produce the "long skull" 
as distinguished from the "round skull. " It is well known 
that iodine is an active thyroid stimulant; and it may be 
that the presence of this, or some other chemical, may be 
found a material factor. At any rate there are both abun- 
dance and variety of chemicals in the waters of the Second 
Congressional District of Indiana. J. P. Dunn. 

By Harvey Morris 

In the early years of the last century, while Indiana 
was engaged in constructing a system of Internal Improve- 
ments, a large gang of men were employed on some such 
work a short distance from New Albany, and among them 
was one from Washington county by the name of Madison 
Short. He was a giant in size and a Goliath in strength and 
had bested all of the other men on the works, both in trials 
and strength and in the rough and tumble fights so common 
at that time. 

One day, after having come out victor in some peculiarly 
strenuous contest, the foreman of the gang spoke to him 
about his success ; to which he is said to have answered : 
"O that is nothing. Up in Washington county where I live 
there is a whole race of giants, and I being the runt, and 
not able to hold my own with the common run of men. had 
to come down here where there are just common folks." 
I will again refer to Short in this article, and will briefly 
notice some of this race of giants that he referred to, and 
will show that the race has not died out with the passing 
of time and the strenuous conditions of life that existed in 
that day. And in this account, I shall divide them into 
three classes, viz : Those who were early settlers or pio- 
neers, and so far as possible, give the States from which 
they came ; the descendants of these pioneers ; and our own 
day giants. For they still exist. 

We, no doubt, shall differ in our opinions as to where 
the line dividing the ordinary man and the giant should be 
drawn, but in this case, all of the men named, with but 


374 Washington County Giants 

very few exceptions, will be well over six feet, and the 
exceptions will be cases where they possessed unusual 
strength, and will be noted. 

Stevens, in his History of Washington County, mentions 
many who will be named in this article, giving many 
examples to illustrate their right to be termed giants, and 
while I will name those he has referred to, I shall repeat 
but very few of the incidents he has so fully set out, and 
will give many names he has omitted. And so far as it 
has been possible at this late day, I will give the names of 
the States from which they immigrated to this county. 
Mr. Stevens' article is added as an appendix hereto. 

Almost all of these men were peacable, industrious, and 
desirable citizens, who would have been an honor to any 
community. They were largely consistent members of the 
various churches of the county, Presbyterian, Baptist, 
Quakers, Methodist and Christian. And it is well that they 
were of such character, for had they been quarrelsome and 
vicious, the good and quiet people would have been com- 
pelled to leave and allow them to enjoy the country alone. 
But with few exceptions, they were always found on the 
side of peace and good order. 

The men whose names I shall set out in this paper were 
engaged in all of the various industries of their time, such as 
ministers, lawyers, physicians, farmers, manufacturers, 
mechanics, laborers, etc. 


The champion of all these in all classes, who admittedly 
stood at the head of the list in every kind of contest, was 
Maj. Abram Stover. "Uncle Abe" as he was called, was a 
large, well proportioned, portly man, near seven feet tall. 
who could easily meet the efforts of all others in trials of 
strength or physical contests. What the extent of his 
strength actually was. no one seems to have known, as he 
was never known to have been called on to test it to the 

Madison Short, with whose name this paper opened, 
while engaged on the work near New Albany, saw Mr. 
Stover coming down the road towards where he was work- 
ing, driving a four horse team. Short was well acquainted 
with Stover, and this being soon after his talk with the 
foreman about the Washington County Giants, he called 
out to men working with him, "You think I am big. come 
here and I will show you a real giant from Washington 
county." And when Stover drove up. he went out and 
shook hands with him and introduced him. Stover was 
prevailed on to stop and give some exhibitions of strength 
which he did to the great astonishment of all present. 

An old neighbor and friend of Stover related the follow- 
ing incident of the first time he was called on to employ his 
strength, then unknown to him. The neighbor said it was 
told by Stover, as follows : 

One day in the summer time he. a large over-sized, 
awkward boy of sixteen, was walking along the public road 


376 Washington County Giants 

when he was overtaken by a stranger on horseback, who 
asked him some fool question, and received an answer in 
kind. The man who had then passed him, turned and said 
"You must be a fool." "That may be," said Stover, "but 
it seems that there are two of us." This remark from the 
boy seemed to rile the man and he rode back, got off his 
horse, hitched him and came up to Stover and said he would 
lick him and teach him better manners. Catching him by 
his shoulders, he backed him into a fence corner and began 
shaking him and finally drew back to strike, but Stover 
was too quick for him and hit first, and the man went 
down and took the count, and then some. Stover turned 
him over and shook him, but he did not revive and he 
became frightened. He picked the limp form up and put 
it over the fence where the hogs that were then allowed 
to run in the road could not get to him, and started along 
the road as fast as he could run and crying; but soon he 
met a neighbor who stopped him and asked what was the 
matter, and Stover told him he killed a man up the road. 
The man asked him how it was done and he related the 
circumstances and said he hit him with his fist. The old 
gentleman said, "Come back and we will see about it." 

They went back and found the man still lying on the 
ground unconscious, but breathing. There was a pond 
near, and the old man told Stover to go to the pond and 
get some water in his hat; and after carrying several hat- 
fuls of water they revived him ; and when he was able to 
talk, he related what had occurred the same as the boy 
Stover, and looking him over said he had enough. 

Stover, in telling this incident, said that was the last 
time he ever hit any one with his closed fist; that he had 
had many encounters since that time, but he always struck 

Washington County Giants ^yy 

with his open hand as he was afraid to use his fist because 
he did not want to kill any one. 

Another occurrence that was related to the writer by 
one who claimed to have been an eye witness, probably 
shows a greater test of actual strength than any other that 
is now known. 

Stover was a farmer, and in that day all of the surplus 
of the farm had to be hauled to market at New Albany, 
Jeffersonville or Louisville, in wagons, usually by four- 
horse teams. The wagoners usually carried their own feed 
and provisions and when they reached the city they would 
put up at what was called a wagon yard. Stover frequentlv 
went on these trips while a young man as well as in after 
years. On one occasion, when Stover was about twenty- 
one years of age, with those in whose company he had made 
the trip, he stopped at a yard in Portland, now a part of 
Louisville. These yards were infested by river gamblers 
and Stover liked to play cards. He was well known as he 
had often been there and had always held his own at the 
games, even with those card sharks. On this occasion, some 
of his friends found out that they had made up a conspiracy 
to get him in a game and if he was winning, to start a 
row and do him up, so they warned Stover and told him 
not to be drawn in the game that evening, but Stover said 
nothing. After supper, while the camp fires were still burn- 
ing, they discovered Stover sitting on his wagon tongue, 
which he had taken loose from the wagon, and in the midst 
of a game with the gang. The friends gathered around to 
see that no advantage should be taken of the "boy." The 
game proceeded and Stover raked in the pot, when one of 
the players accused him of cheating. This brought all to 
their feet at once, and the friends noticed that Stover held 

378 Washington County Giants 

the breast chains at the end of his wagon tongue with the 
fingers of one hand through the rings. The lie was passed 
and then action begun. Stover sprang away from the 
crowd, jerked the heavy wagon tongue clear of the ground 
and began swinging it around him with the one hand, like 
a boy would swing a "whistling dick" at the end of a 
"string," and making it sing equally as loud. The would-be 
attackers stood off and looked with amazement. Stover 
tauntlingly called out, "You want to lick me do you? Well 
come on, swim in here, my little fishes, if you want to be 
caught" — all the time swinging the heavy tongue with the 
one hand, never once letting it touch the ground. But 
they were satisfied that it was best — for them — to postpone 

When we take into account that the wagon tongue was 
made of oak or hickory, ten feet or more long, about three 
by five inches at one end and tapering gradually to about 
three inches square at the other end, to which chains three 
or more feet long were attached, and that Stover had hold 
of the extreme end of the chains with one hand only, we 
may be able to form some slight conception of the immense 
strength required to swing it clear of the ground and with 
such speed that it remained in the air as long as the motion 
was kept up. After this display, there was no more seeking 
a contest with the young giant. 

A man by the name of John Brough married Stover's 
daughter. Brough was in the giant class, and concluded 
he wanted to measure strength with "the old man." Stover 
finally consented. They met according to terms, when" 
Stover threw Brough over his head and in the fall he broke 
his leg. The old man remained boss of the household. 

Thomas Denney, though under size, being less than six 

Washington County Giants 379 

feet tall, was considered the next in strength to Stover, and 
in fact Denney's friends claimed he was superior. Denney 
lived north of Salem and Stover south, They were great 
friends and frequently met in town. Their respective 
friends often tried to get up a match between them and 
finally arranged a public test in which Stover was awarded 
the decision. They afterwards had several tests in private, 
but would not talk about it. After one of them, Stover was 
asked who won. He said "Denney is a good man and can 
hit mighty hard," and no further information could be 

Thomas Denney came from Virginia to Washington 
county. But I have been unable to learn from what State 
Abram Stover migrated. He must have been quite young 
when he arrived here. Many other stories are related of 
these men, but to rehearse all of them would make too long 
a story for a paper of this character. Many of them are 
collected in Stevens' History of the County, and are added 
as an appendix hereto. 

James Uppinghouse and James Lee were two others in 
the giant class, both large men of extraordinary strength, an 
interesting account of whom may be found in the same 
history. It is not now known where they came from. 

Free speaking ministers also had to sometimes fall back 
on the unusual strength with which they were endowed. 
Aaron Hubbard, a minister of the Christian church, lived 
at Little York in the northeast part of the county. He was 
a large active man, of great strength, spare and sinewy and 
without fear. And when preaching required all present to 
keep good order. On one occasion, it is related, when hold- 
ing services at a country church, a large bullet-headed 
young man came in and noisily took a seat near the center 

380 Washington County Giants 

of the room, and at once began creating a disturbance. 
Hubbard remonstrated with him once or twice, but to no 
purpose. The minister took off his coat, asked the congre- 
gation to excuse him for a few minutes as he had a matter 
outside to attend to. He walked down the aisle, took the 
bully by the collar, lifted him out of the seat and carried 
him out the door. A commotion was heard outside but no 
one went to investigate and they soon came in together. 
The bully took his seat. Hubbard went to the pulpit, put 
on his coat and resumed the sermon where he had broken 
off and the services were finished without further interrup- 

Many other stories of similar character are told of Mr. 
Hubbard, but this one shows his character, and it is said 
that all seeking trouble at church services, made sure that 
Aaron Hubbard was not present before they started any- 

While slavery was not tolerated in Indiana, there were 
many in this locality in sympathy with the institution. 
Hubbard is said to have donated the ground upon which 
the church at his place was located and practically paid 
most of the cost of construction. He spoke strongly 
against human slavery and once, after an unusually strong 
sermon in the church on the subject, some of the members 
took exceptions, and proposed to procure another minister. 
Hubbard said nothing until he learned who the objectors 
were and then at the next service, most of them being 
present, he brought the subject up, and he was told that 
they had concluded to procure another minister whose 
views more nearly agreed with their own and they would 
dispense with his services in that house. He said they were 
welcome to engage any other minister they might select, 

Washington County Giants 381 

but he would continue services in the house; that the 
house stood on his ground, that he had paid all but a small 
portion of the cost of construction and had preached with- 
out compensation to speak of. Then said, "Now, brethren 
if you are dissatisfied with my preaching, you can cut off 
in one corner, the small portion of the house that your 
contributions represent, procure your minister and hold 
services in your portion of the house without interruption 
from me, but I will continue to preach the WORD OF 
GOD from the pulpit. That ended the controversy. He 
was called "The fighting parson." 

William Cravens was born in Virginia and grew up to 
be a man of great size and strength and is said to have been 
a great "scrapper" in his young days. But in early man- 
hood he joined the Methodist church and soon became the 
leading minister in his locality. He abhored the institution 
of slavery and is said to have often condemed it in his public 
sermons delivered in Virginia, which made him unpopular. 

On one occasion, after a vigorous sermon on the subject, 
some of his congregation took him to task and demanded 
that he publically apologize for his act, which he readily 
agreed to do and the time and place for such apology was 
agreed upon and duly advertised. Mr. Cravens was 
promptly on hand and took the pulpit and the house was 
packed to the limit, and while he duly apologized for the 
former sermon the apology was by far a severer arraign- 
ment of the institution than the sermon had been. After 
the conclusion of the services, the men of the congregation 
gathered in groups to discuss it and one of them remarked 
in rather a loud tone, that he ought to be horsewhipped. 
Cravens overheard the remark, as was probably intended, 
and going up to the group, seized hold of a small tree and 

382 Washington County Giants 

gave such an exhibition of bodily strength as to astonish all 
who witnessed it, and then turning to the speaker, said, 
"The Lord did not give me such strength to allow myself 
to be horsewhipped by a slaveholder." That ended the con- 
troversy. He afterward moved to Indiana and continued in 
the ministry and in those rough and strenuous times, his 
vigorous and unmeasured condemnation of error and some 
of the customs of the time, frequently necessitated him to 
call on the immense reserve strength with which he had 
been so generously endowed. But in Indiana he was at all 
times highly respected, not only by the church people, but 
also by those whom he arraigned most severely. He was 
commonly termed "The fighting Methodist. " 

Four brothers, John, James, Hugh and William Rodman, 
emigrated from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, where John 
located, but his three brothers came to Washington county, 
Indiana, in the early days of its history. John Rodman was 
the grandfather of Admiral Hugh Rodman, now of the 
United States Navy, and James was the father of General 
Thomas Jackson Rodman, who invented the one-time 
famous Rodman gun. 

Doctor A. W. King, now of Redlands, California, to 
whom I am indebted for much that is contained in this 
paper, and who knew the three brothers, James, Hugh and 
William, describes them as physical giants, six and a half 
feet high and weighing fully two hundred and fifty pounds, 
well proportioned and unusually fine looking men. 

William lived in Salem and operated a mill. He had fair 
business ability and was an earnest, consistent member of 
the Presbyterian church and a model citizen. 

Hugh was in every way the equal of his brothers, both 
in size and strength. He lived on a farm, and frequently 

Washington County Giants 383 

hauled produce to the city markets with a four or five-horse 
team. It is said of him, on these occasions, that when load- 
ing- his wagon, to determine if he had a sufficient or too 
much load for his team, he would back up to one of the 
hind wheels, take hold of a spoke on each side of the hub' 
and if he could raise the wheel clear of the ground his team 
would be able to pull it through, but if he was unable to lift 
the wheel, he would unload a part, as it was too heavy for 
the team. Some lift. 

On one occasion when going to market with more than 
one wagon, he had a boy driving the one in front. Thev 
came upon some other teamsters who had stopped for 
dinner. They had driven their wagons to the side of the 
road but had built their fire in the middle of the road and 
were sitting around it, four in number. There was not 
room to pass around them and the boy stopped and asked 
them to allow him to pass, which they refused. Rodman 
then came forward and made the same request. They again 
refused to move. He then said to them, "Gentlemen. I 
will again ask you to move out of the road so we can pass, 
and if you do not do it, I will move you." They dared him 
to attempt it. Thereupon he picked one of them up with- 
out any apparent effort and threw him to the side of the 
road and as the others arose knocked them down in turn 
He again asked them to clear the road, which they promptly 
did, and Rodman went on his way with his teams. He, like 
his brothers, was a good citizen and did not seek trouble 
nor occasions to display his strength. 

James Rodman was, perhaps, the more aggressive of the 
three brothers, but notwithstanding his size and strength, 
was a good citizen. He was a prominent and influential 
member of the Democratic party and of the Baptist church. 

384 Washington County Giants 

Once in a crowd, a small man took offense at something 
Rodman had said and pitched into him with a shower of 
harmless blows. This Rodman endured good naturedly 
until it became annoying, when he picked the little fellow 
up and tossed him astride the crotch of a small walnut 
tree near by. 

George Housh was one of the large men even in that day 
of giants, perhaps the equal of James Rodman in stature, 
not fleshy but bony and muscular. A regular athlete and a 
great wrestler. Doctor King says of him : 

"I remember a wrestling match between him and James 
Rodman on election day. They adopted 'side holts' and it 
was long in doubt which would win. But finally Rodman, 
who was a Sampson as well as a Goliath, got Housh on his 
hip, swinging him over his head, threw him on his back 
with a thud." 

Andrew Housh, a brother of George, was perhaps, his 
equal in size and strength, "but in no sense a sport," but a 
zealous churchman. He was a tanner by trade. He owned 
and operated a grist mill on the north bank of Muscackituck 
river, at Millport. The power being supplied by a partner- 
ship dam across the river owned by him and John DePauw, 
who had a mill on the south bank. He was also an exhorter 
and a "jack leg lawyer," practicing in petty cases before 
justices of the peace. 

According to Doctor King and as the following incidents 
will show, "he had no mercy on the King's English." 

At one time attempting to quote from the State constitu- 
tion, "No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation 
of contracts, shall ever be passed, "he had it, "The legisla- 
ture shall make no ipso facto or other law to nulificate or 
impair the vandility of contracts." 

Washington County Giants 385 

At another time when defending a poor boy who had 
been indentured during minority to a farmer and had run 
away because of ill treatment, Housh, in his argument said, 
"I often saw the boy at work in the field, in the boiling 
sun. the pouring rain and the fleecing snow, poorly clad in 
sackcloth and raiment and he appeared to be in indignant 

At an infare dinner in passing the viands to the guests, 
he observed "They are most melodious.'' 

He complimented a lady who was showing him the 
flowers in her garden on her "beautiful artificials." 

Once in prayer meeting when pleading for charity for 
some offenders he said. "Men are all prone to faculties and 

At times he also seemed as careless of the facts as he 
was with the language. Speaking of a sudden freeze at an 
early day he said, "A bunch of wild horses that were fight- 
ing flies on the hillside., became frightened and ran down 
the hill and all fell down on the ice on my mill pond and 
I captured all of them." 

Some one suggested that it was not usual to have ice in 
fly time, but he was equal to the occasion and responded. 
"By gracious, the pond froze solid in five minutes and it 
began to freeze at the bottom." 

A large sycamore log lodged on his mill dam and after- 
ward, in telling of it he said. "It weighed a million tons and 
it was all I could do to pry it off with a hand spike." 

But notwithstanding his "faculties and infallibilities and 
multitudinous ponderosities" he was kind hearted and gen- 
erous to a fault. 

Micajah Callaway. Sr.. came from Virginia to Kentucky 
with Daniel Boone where he continued as Boone's most 

386 Washington County Giants 

trusted companion until Boone left Kentucky, when he 
came to Washington county and lived a quiet life until his 
death. His feats and history are so fully set out in the 
Life of Boone that it is unnecessary to repeat them here. 

Marston G. Clark, also of Virginia, was also an Indian 
fighter, and a surveyor. It is said that in his early surveys 
he used a grape vine instead of a chain. 

At one time -in the woods near his residence, he met a 
young man with a new gun, that attracted his attention. 
They were near a small dead tree that had been so charred 
by fire that it was covered with black charcoal from top 
to bottom. Clark asked to examine the gun. The young 
man handed it to him and after having inspected it he said 
to the young man, "I will now teach you a lesson you 
should never forget. Climb that stump." 

The fellow took one look at Clark and up the black 
stump he went and when he came down Clark said. "The 
lesson I wished to impress on your mind is, never hand your 
loaded gun to a stranger in the woods," and handed the gun 
back to him. 

The man took the gun, backed off a few steps, threw it 
to his shoulder and leveled it on Clark saying, "The lesson 
is a good one, but you seem to have forgotten it as soon as 
imparted, and now to impress its importance on you, you 
climb that stump." Clark cast one glance at the eye looking 
at him through the sights of the gun, and realizing he was 
caught in his own trap, proceeded to go up the stump as 
directed. When he came down he said, "We are even and 
I rather like you. I live in that house over there. Come 
with me and we will have dinner." When the man seemed 
to hesitate, Clark said the rule does not hold good in a. 
man's house with his invited guests whom it is his duty to 

Washington County Giants 387 

protect. They went to dinner together, and were always 
friends afterward. 

Henry Baker, who came from North Carolina, was a man 
of great size and strength. Being forced to defend himself 
against an enraged drunken man, he is said to have struck 
the fellow a blow with his fist on the body and killed him 
almost instantly. 

Pritchard Morris, and his brother, Jehosaphat Morris, 
Sr., also from North Carolina, would measure up in stature 
with others named. At one time when there was a gather- 
ing to erect a log house, Pritchard being present, they had 
put up the rafters before dinner and after dinner, as usual 
on such occasions, there were trials of strength. 

Prichard Morris had climbed on the building where the 
next work was to be done and sat watching those engaged 
in these feats. Finally he said, "Boys I will show you 
something to try." He then grasped a rafter with his hands 
on each side of him, dropped his body between them, hang- 
ing suspended by his hands, he worked his way up to the 
peak of the rafters and down the other side without resting. 
Taking his seat he said, "When any of you can do that I 
will show you something else." But none was able to 
match him. 

When we take into account that Morris weighed more 
than two hundred pounds and that the rafters were proba- 
bly near three feet apart we may be able to form some con- 
ception of the effort. 

But we can not give incidents as to all of the men who 
measured up to the standard and will only give the names 
of many with the States from which they came so far as 
known. George Hattabaugh, Virginia; Col. Henry Dewalt. 
Pennsylvania, and Col. Ezekiel D. Logan, Kentucky, who 

388 Washington County Giants 

organized and led the forces who pursued the Pigeon 
Roost Indians; Robert Strain, David Vance, William and 
Elisha Hobbs, brothers from North Carolina; James Young, 
Sr., Garrett W. Logan, Kentucky; Alexander, Benjamin and 
Samuel Huston, brothers, from Kentucky; Henry Wyman, 
George Madison, Aaron and Jacob Short, from North 
Carolina. They were not, as their name would indicate, 
short, but long and large. Madison, whose name was men- 
tioned at the beginning of this paper and in connection with 
Abram Stover, is said to have originated the name Hoosier, 
as applied to the people of Indiana. 

As the story goes, he was working on the canal at Louis- 
ville and one day, being victorious in a strenuous fistic 
contest with three of the other laborers, he jumped up shak- 
ing his fist and said : "You do not want to tackle me, I'm a 
Hoosher (Husher). But those who heard him got it 
Hoosier and ever after they called all men from Indiana, 
Hoosiers. True or not, the story is characteristic of the 
times and people. 

Then there was Septemus Goodwin, commonly called 
September Goodwin, Jesse Stanley, Sr., James Coffin, 
North Carolina, Christian Prow, Sr., Godlove Kemp, asso- 
ciate judge; George May, Sr., John Curry, Sr., David Den- 
nis, Rhode Island; Abram Fleenor, John Aton, Adam 
Barnett, Capt. Zephaniah Johnson, John Rowland, and 
many others whose names have not been procured. 

Daniel Soliday, who lived in the north part of the county, 
was killed by the Indians. He was a man of great stature 
and strength. He would never carry a gun for protection 
against the Indians, saying that he did not fear any Indian 
in anything like a fair contest. He had gone out in the 
morning to look for stock and not returning, search was 

Washington County Giants 389 

made. At the point where his body was found there was 
every evidence of a fierce struggle. It appeared there had 
been several of the Indians and that they had ambushed 
Soliday. But how much the Indians had suffered was 
never known as they always carried off the dead and 
wounded when possible. 

Jacob Soliday was perhaps the equal of his brother, but 
always took his gun with him. He was killed, presumably 
by the same party of Indians. He, too, had gone in search 
of stock and when they found his body, there was no doubt 
that he had put up a strong fight. The stock of his gun 
was broken. The charge had been fired and the barrel was 
bent and in his clinched hand he held the scalp lock of one 
of the Indians which he had evidently torn from the head 
of one of his adverseries. So there could be no doubt that 
one at least had suffered severely in the encounter 

The Indians were pursued as soon as a force could be 
organized but they were not overtaken, it having taken too 
long to get the men together in that thinly settled commu- 
nity where the first consideration was to get the women 
and children to a place of safety while the men were gone. 

John Zink, Kentucky, was a young man of great size. 
He joined the forces that went in pursuit of the Pigeon 
Roost Indians, and with one of his companions, came up 
with some of them in what is now Bartholomew county, 
where Zink was wounded by a shot through the hips, which 
rendered his lower limbs useless. His companion helped 
him to cover and then went for assistance. On returning 
later, Zink was not there, but they followed a trail and 
cam upon Zink something like a mile away. He had 
dragged himself by his hands, grasping bushes, roots and 
anything he could get hold of, but still alive. They con- 

390 Washington County Giants 

structed a litter and placed him on it and started back, 
arriving at a spring where Vallonia now stands, late in the 
afternoon and went into camp for the night, where Zink 
died during the night. The body was brought to Salem and 
buried on the farm now owned by Howard Brown, just 
north of town. 

Henry C. Munroe will be the last one in this class of 
giant early settlers that I shall mention. And I do not 
know how better to describe him than in the words of 
Dr. A. W. King, who speaks from memory. So to quote 
Doctor King: 

"Henry C. Munroe, a rock-rooted wheel horse of the 
Democratic party, was at one time a member of the legis- 
lature. He was a man of large stature, strong and muscu- 
lar, a prosperous farmer in the (barrens) west of Salem. 

"After the election of 1844, he watched closely for the 
result. One night he was awakened by the booming of the 
cannon (anvil) at Salem, and thinking it announced the 
triumph of President Polk, he called up his wife and Jake, 
armed them with boards and himself with his blunderbuss. 
At every report of the cannon he would fire his fuzee — his 
wife would strike a ringing blow on the barn and Jake a 
strenuous blow in the hard road. After a few rounds the 
colonel called a halt. 'Stop old woman, stop Jake. Maybe 
we are too fast — that is to say — maybe it's the other fellow 
that's elected.' But his heart was made happy next day on 
getting the news." 

So we see that life among these men was not all play 
They took an active interest in affairs and passing events. 
They were mostly good and active business men, and took 
the political questions as seriously as we do in the day of 
universal sufferage. 

Washington County Giants 391 

The writer has in his possession a letter, dated January 
7, 1831, written by John Rodman from the senate chamber 
at Frankfort, Ky., to a resident of Salem. From the words 
of the letter, I judge Rodman was a member of that 
body. He describes an effort of the legislature to elect a 
United States senator. The contest was between what he 
terms the Clay men and the Jackson men. After sixteen 
ballots, having failed to make a choice, by resolution, they 
postponed the election for the session. 

Politics with these men in their day was evidently not 
very different from the present time. 

These men, while of giant size and strength, were among 
the very best citizens and would have been a credit to any 
community in any time. Their sources of amusements 
were few, aside from the trials of strength and physical 
skill and they evidently made the best of their opportunities 
along their limited lines. 

Yet they subdued the wilderness, fought wild beasts and 
savage men ; cleared the unbroken forest, established homes 
for themselvs and families; built school houses and organ- 
ized and maintained churches and made the waste places 
fit for the habitation of civilized man. 

What a pity these memoirs had not have been begun and 
not only begun but completed fifty years ago, while most 
of these remarkable men were living and the events fresh 
in their memories. We now get at these events more as 
traditions than as facts of history. But in the preparation 
of this paper I have received the hearty co-operation and 
assistance of Dr. A. W. King, of Redlands, Calif., whose 
life span covers the period in which these men lived to 
the present time, and whose wonderful recollection of 
names and events has been of invaluable assistance. 

392 Washington County Giants 

The most of these early pioneers were men grown when 
they came to this county. They had attained their unusual 
stature and development before they arrived here, and this 
fact opens an interesting field for investigation. So far 
as it has been possible to obtain the facts, I have given the 
States from which they came. But in that day, the condi- 
tions of life were very much the same in all newly settled 
localities, and it is a well established fact, that the pioneers 
of this country, as a class, usually make at least two moves 
as the frontier receded, before they finally established them- 
selves. And a large portion of their descendants followed 
in the foot-steps of their fathers. 

It is not claimed by the writer, that this account gives 
the names of all of the men of that day, that might right- 
fully be classed as giants. In fact such would be an impos- 
sibility in the short time I have employed in the prepara- 
tion of this paper. And then such a compilation would 
make a book of large size, too lengthy for an article of this 
character. The names here set out are only claimed to 
represent a very few of the early inhabitants who were 
entitled to a place by the side of those mentioned. 

But now we must leave these early pioneers and pass 
on to the next generation. For the race has not died out. 


'''Like father, like son" is as true of races of men as 
it is of other characteristics. And by following along our 
line of investigation, we find the type of men of which we 
are writing., continues through the second generation. 

While it is probably as difficult to classify them as to 
the age in which they lived, or the generation to which 
they should be assigned, as it is to determine the dividing 
line between an ordinary man and the giant. I shall assign 
them to the class of the period in which they lived the 
greater part of their lives. Many of those whose names 
will appear in this class came to the county as children 
with their parents, some of whom are named in the preced- 
ing pages. Nor is this intended to be a list of all who 
might be mentioned, but just a very few whose names the 
writer can call to mind of his former acquaintances. All of 
whom, like those in Part I, have passed over to the beyond. 
Nor shall I devote much time or space to illustrations of 
trials of strength as these forms of amusement seem to 
have passed with the first generation. But they shall be 
measured as to stature by the same rule as the former, and 
we will find that they measure well up to the former stand- 

Horace and Delos Heffren. brothers, natives of New 
York State, were both well over six feet. Horace was a 
lawyer and weighed more than four hundred pounds, and 
was, perhaps, the largest man in the county at that time. 


394 Washington County Giants 

Thomas J., John and James Harvey Rodman, sons of James 
Rodman, mentioned in Part I. 

Gen. Thomas J. Rodman was the inventor of the one- 
time famous Rodman Gun; an improvement in the manner 
of putting up artillery powder; and many other things used 
by the army. The writer was recently told by one who 
says he saw the exhibition, that one time when the general 
was visiting his brothers here, he gave an exhibition of a 
small machine, or repeating gun, that he held in his hands 
and fired twenty shots in less than a minute, hitting the 
target each time. Jasper N. Rodman, son of Hugh, hereto- 
fore mentioned, Hy. Peck, Caleb W. Morris, Noble Calla- 
way and James H. Callaway, sons of Micajah Callaway, Sr,, 
Richard Hix, Lewis N. Smith, Sr., Charles W. Mobley, 
John, George, Caleb, Harry and Christian L. Paynter, 
brothers. John Paynter was in great demand as a young 
man, to take charge of unruly schools, where the selected 
teacher was unable to control them, and on account of his 
great size and strength, he always succeeded. Robert, 
Alfred and Brad Uppinghouse, brothers. Alfred Upping- 
house, one time went to one of his neighbors, more than 
half a mile away, to borrow a plow. He went on foot 
across the fields and when he made the request, the neigh- 
bor said yes, and pointed to the plow and asked him when 
he wanted it. It was a large two-horse plow. He replied, 
"I will take it now." He was asked how he intended to 
get it home. He simply reached down, took the plow by 
the beam with one hand, put it on his shoulder and walked 
off with it and carried it home, crossing three high rail 
fences which he climbed without setting the plow down or 
stopping to rest. 

Milas and James Young, Jr., who with Isaac Gordon were 

Washington County Giants 395 

mighty hunters either with gun or rocks. Like the left 
handed Benjaminites, they could throw a rock to "a hair's 
breadth and never miss." 

It is related of Milas Young that he could stand in front 
of the hotel at the southeast corner of the public square in 
Salem, and throw a silver dollar and land on the West 
Market street bridge every time. A distance of more than 
two and a half squares, with buildings intervening. 

Cam. and Reuben Medlock, brothers. Cam. was a great 
sprinter, and fox hunter. One day a neighbor heard some 
hounds and pretty soon a red fox came loping along pretty 
well tired out with Cam. Medlock right after him reaching 
for his brush. And shortly the hounds appeared looking 
as weary as the fox, but Cam. seemed as fresh as ever. 

(Whether he caught the fox, deponent saith not.) 

William Hattabaugh, commonly called "Mallet" on 
account of the unusual size of his fists and his ability to hit 
hard. Joseph Denney, William and George Weston, broth- 
ers, Harrison and Joel Denney, brothers. Robert Tatlock 
would not probably measure up to the full standard in 
height, but what he lacked in stature, he could make up 
in strength. He was a farmer and one time he was shifting 
some mules from one inclosure to another, and they all 
passed through the opening but one, about two years old, 
which, mule like, seemed to wish to go out every place 
except where the inclosure was open, and in its rounds 
passed near Tatlock, who caught it and in some manner 
threw it over the fence. 

Christian Prow, Jr., Martin Souder, John C. Lawier, Eli 
Elrod, Benjamin Luck, William G. Jamison, Lewis Shanks, 
Moses Shrum, Virginia, Isaac H. Hiestand, Townsend 
Cutshaw, Stephen D. Sayles, John Spigler, Jehosaphat M. 

396 Washington County Giants 

Morris, Jr., David Cadwalader, a merchant in Salem. It is 
said that one time he was needing some goods and roads 
were so muddy that he could procure no conveyance and 
he started afoot for the city, thirty-five miles away, made 
his purchases and returned home before night. 

In addition to those named, were the following of unusual 
height but lighter build : Dr. Harvey D. Henderson, Olive 
Stanley, George Clark, Philbert Marion Wright, Elwood 
and Thomas Trueblood and David M. Alspaugh. 

But why extend the list? Any community could have 
furnished its full quota of men that would have measured 
up to the standard, whose names we have not mentioned. 


And still the show goes on. All of the men whose 
names have been heretofore recorded in this paper, have 
passed away. But the cast is still well filled with characters 
that fully measure up to the standards established by their 
predecessors, without any diminution in numbers. And 
as noticed in the preceding class, the incidents illustrative 
of the possession of unusual strength grow fewer. 

The names that I shall mention in this part, with per- 
haps two exceptions, are those of men still living, but all 
belong to the same age as applied to the races of men. Two 
or three grew to mature manhood in the county, but have 
since moved to other localities. But the names will be few, 
not because their numbers are few, but because I deem it 
unnecessary to extend this paper for the sole purpose of 
mentioning names. 

We have first, George, Frank and Charles Morris, broth- 
ers, and Matthew, William and Augustus Markland, broth- 
ers. Two very remarkable families, in size, appearance, 
intelligence and business capacity, Alexander Brock, Com- 
modore Dawalt, James B. Dawalt, John H. House. Ben- 
jamin F. Trueblood, Flanders and Claborne Denney, broth- 
ers; Jacob Williams, Harry Barnett, Dr. Spencer Smith, 
Volney Shull and many others. 

Jacob Williams is first of all, being seven feet, three 
and one-half inches, well proportioned and a farmer by 

Henry W. Medlock, the long-time well known marshal 


398 Washington County Giants 

of Salem, would not measure up in stature with the others, 
but notwithstanding this undersize, he was capable of hold- 
ing his own, as was shown by his long and turbulent expe- 
rience as marshal with the best of them and proved more 
than a match for all of the would-be bad men who sought 
so often "to paint the town red" during the early years of 
his official life. 

He was a man about five feet, ten inches high, heavy 
built and would weigh about one hundred and eighty 
pounds. But I will give but one instance of his numerous 
contests with violators of the laws who attempted to resist 
arrest. And this one came under the personal observation 
of the writer. Medlock, unlike the proverbial police 
officer that is always absent when most needed, seemed 
always to be on hand when his services were called for. 

One summer day a man by the name of Hamilton, from 
the east part of the county came to town, as he said, for 
the express purpose of "doing the marshal." He was fully 
six feet tall, well and heavily built and was the equal of the 
marshal in weight. A fine looking fellow and one that 
would have been picked out of crowds as an athlete. The 
marshal had arrested him some time before for some infrac- 
tion and on this occasion he said that it was the last time. 
He was somewhat under the influence of liquor, and after 
making his boast, left the parties to whom he was talking 
and started across the street to look for his "Whiskers" as 
the marshal was called. 

Before he got quite across the street he came face to face 
with the object of his search. They both stopped a few 
feet apart. Hamilton reached for his gun but instantly the 
marshal was upon him and beat him to it, taking the gun 
out of his pocket and putting it in his own. Hamilton 

Washington County Giants 


closed in and they clinched and soon went down in the 
street. But it did not take many minutes, with the heavy 
marshal sitting on his breast and gripping his throat with a 
hold that could not be broken, to cause an unconditional 
surrender which was accepted and the marshal arose. But 
it seemed that Hamilton would not get up. The marshal 
tapped his feet a time or two with his billy but that had 
no effect. So he put up his club, bent over, took Hamilton 
around the middle, threw him over his shoulder and walked 
off with him to the justice's office. Hamilton afterwards 
said to the writer, in speaking of this occurrence, "Whiskers 
can arrest me any time in the future without trouble. For 
I know when I'm licked." The foregoing is but one of the 
numerous contests with violators of the law who attempted 
to resist arrest by the marshal. Well might he be properly 
called "The little giant." 

But the men of this day are not ALL giants. In con- 
trast with the seven feet, three and a half inches of Jacob 
Williams, is a healthy, good looking, well proportioned man 
but little over five feet. As a boy, he was able to hold his 
own in the strenuous, rough and tumble life of the average 
American boy and is now a quiet and active business man. 

But why continue to mention names of men who might, 
w r ith equal propriety, be classed with those whose names 
I have given? 

Those whom I have mentioned are sufficient for the 
purposes of this paper, and what is true of the localities in 
which they respectively reside, is also true of the entire 
county. And what is true of this county is also true of a 
large portion of the counties of the State. 

Any one who will take notice, even to day, will be very 
forcibly struck with the large number of good looking. 

400 Washington County 'Giants 

well proportioned men in any gathering, or that he will see 
passing along the streets, who are from five feet ten to six 
feet two inches in height. The most of these men he will 
find are natives of the locality. Is this modern, or is it a 
native characteristic of the race or the American type? 

It is a well established fact that American men average 
taller than those of any other country, but have, as yet no 
means of knowing whether these tall men confined to cer- 
tain localities or whether it is general with our people. 
But when we take into account the restless disposition of 
our people and that they are constantly shifting their habita- 
tions, it would seem that we must conclude that they are 
pretty evenly distributed, in the absence of reliable statis- 

Measurements of the soldiers of the Civil war indicate 
taller men in certain regions, but these may not be suffi- 
cient to form a correct basis from which to determine the 
question, although they were sufficient to form the basis 
for an investigation. 

When the statistics and measurements of the men called 
for examination in the late war are fully compiled and 
classified, showing as they do not only the measurements, 
but also the nativity and the then habitation, we will have 
the facts upon which to base an investigation of these inter- 
esting questions and from which to draw pretty definite 
conclusions. And what a field for investigation it will open 


Since the foregoing paper was prepared, it has been sug- 
gested to the writer that some readers might seriously 
question the accuracy of the estimates of the stature and 
size of the many men whose names have been mentioned. 
Of course there is now no way of verifying the statements 
as to all of the men named in parts I and II, but as to part 
III I think I can offer ample proof that my estimates were 
not over drawn. 

I enlisted the services of Dr. Claude B. Paynter, of Salem, 
who made most of the measurements in the selective draft 
for the World war, and we took the measurements of the 
first twenty-one men of six feet or more, that we could get 
at a time when the doctor could make the measurements, 
and I append the list with the doctor's measurements and 
the weights. The names of eight of these men are set out 
in the foregoing paper in Part III, the remainder of them 
have not been mentioned heretofore. 

All but five of them have passed the age of maturity — 
thirty years — and the ages of these five are given with the 
other data as to them. 

They are all natives of the county and all still reside in the 
county, except three, viz: George, Fred and John Morris, 
and they grew to manhood here and recently went to other 
localities, and their names are set out here because they are 
a part of a family of five brothers, all over six feet. 

The list of names will also bear out the statement of the 

writer that the men whose names are set out in Part III, 

are but a small part of those who might have been given. 

And still there are many others that might be added to the 


402 Washington County Giants 

list if we would take the time and trouble to get them and 
the doctor together for the measurements. But this we 
deem unnecessary as it was not intended to name all of the 
class in Part III, and will only submit the following list: 

Name Height Weight Age 

George Morris ] 6-1' 205 

Frank Morris I 6-2' 270 

Charles Morris j- Brothers 6-1' 215 

John Morris 6-6' 235 

Fred Morris J 6-2' 210 

Matthew Markland ] 6-4' 240 

William Markland j- Brothers 6-2' 210 

Augustus Markland J 6-4^' 265 

Flanders Denney ] 6-2' 172 

Claborne Denney J Brothers 6-2' 170 

Silas Shull 6-4' 220 

Albert Newby 6-iJ4' 250 

Elbert Smith 6-1' 225 

Ruble May 6 200 

Lawrence W. Paynter 6 215 

Richard Green 6-5^' 255 

Vance Spangler 6 160 20 

Tony Markland 6-3' 160 21 

Willie Wilson 6-6' 185 24 

Frank Rodman 6-1' 175 24 

Charles Gorman 6 165 23 

APPENDIX "B" (Gould Statistics) 

Extracts from "Investigations in the Military and Anthropo- 
logical Statistics of American Soldiers, by Benjamin 
Apthorp Gould, Actuary to the U. S. Sanitary 
Commission, in the Civil War. 

(P. 118) The height of full-grown man (Note. From 
his data, Doctor Gould assumes that the average man does 
not attain full growth until the age of 31) has been the 
subject of as wide a diversity of statement, and seems as 
completely undetermined even for any one nationality, as 

Washington County Giants 403 

the law of growth by which it is attained. Among the 
values given by the principal investigators within the 
author's knowledge, the following may be cited, all the 
numbers being here reduced to centimeters and to English 
(American) inches. 

Centimeters Inches 

Buffon (mean value) 169.2 66.60 

Tenon, from 60 men between the ages of 25 and 45, 

measured at Massy 166.5 65.55 

Quetelet, from 900 men enrolled for draft at Brussels 168.41 66.30 
Quetelet, from 9,500 Belgian militia (province of 

Brabant) 163.80 64.49 

Quetelet, from 69 convicts at the penitentiary of 

Vilvorde 166.40 65.51 

Hargenvilliers, from French conscripts (20 years old) 161.50 63.58 
Quetelet, from 80 students at Cambridge, England 

(measured in shoes) 174.21 68.60 

Forbes, from Scotch students at Edinburgh (in shoes) 173.45 68.30 
Silbermann, from 559 conscripts in one Paris 

arrondissement 164.34 64.70 

Carus, "Proportionslehre" 171.20 67.40 

Schadow, from his own measures 172.60 67.96 

Zeising, from his own measures and Quetelets 173. 68.11 

Liharzik, from 300 selected men in Vienna 175- 68.90 

Danson, from 733 Liverpool prisoners, aged 25 and 

upwards 168.80 66.46 

Coolidge*, mean of 100 U. S. soldiers, natives of— 

Indiana 175-58 69.125 

Kentucky 175-96 69.275 

Ohio T75-37 69.044 

Tennessee 176.11 69-335 

Maine • • l 74-^9 ^-777 

Vermont and New Hampshire 173-58 68.341 

Massachusetts and Connecticut 173-19 68.185 

North Carolina ■ 176.22 69.377 

Georgia l 77& 69926 

South Carolina 175-9° 69.275 

*Statistical Report on Sickness and Mortality of U. S. Army, years 
1840-56, p 633. The measurements were of 100 soldiers, taken at ran- 
dom, in the order of entry on the Adjutant General's books, from each 
of 18 states. Recruits were not accepted under 65 inches at the time. 
For discussion see Hammond's "Military Hygiene," p. 29.) 

404 Washington County Giants 

Alabama 175.71 69.176 

Virginia 1 75.22 68.986 

New York 172.23 67.806 

Pennsylvania 172.99 68.107 

New Jersey and Delaware 172.24 67.811 

Maryland 174-13 68.556 

Illinois I75.85 69.235 

Missouri 174.23 68.594. 

Another of Coolidge's tables gives a striking statement of the 
proportion of each 100 who were over 6 feet tall. Of 1,000 men 
measured in the British army, only 65 were 6 feet tall or more, and in 
the French army only 4. Of the 1,800 American soldiers, 241 were 6 
feet tall or more, or over 133 to 1,000, the record by states being as 
follows : 

No. over 6 feet Greatest stature 

Indiana 18 6 feet 4*4 in. 

Kentucky 18 6 feet 2>Va in. 

Ohio 15 6 feet 3 l / 2 in. 

Tennessee 18 6 feet 3 in. 

Maine 11 6 feet 2 in. 

Vermont and New Hampshire 6 6 feet 1 in. 

Massachusetts and Connecticut 5 6 feet 3 in. 

North Carolina 24 6 feet 2> l A in. 

Georgia 30 6 feet 6]/ 2 in. 

South Carolina 15 6 feet /\ l / 2 in. 

Alabama 17 6 feet 4 in. 

Virginia 15 6 feet 2 in. 

New York 4 6 feet 1^2 in. 

Pennsylvania 5 6 feet 1 in. 

New Jersey and Delaware 6 6 feet 1 in. 

Maryland 9 6 feet 2 in. 

Illinois 17 6 feet 3 in. 

Missouri 8 6 feet 1 1 / 2 in. 

The exceeding wide range of these data can scarcely 
be accounted for by any one influence. Nor, indeed, are 
the means afforded in most cases for determining to what 
extent the variations are fortuitous, and in what measure 
they are due to differences in the classes of men under con- 
sideration, or how far they may be dependent upon the 
employment of different limits of age, in those cases where 
limits were regarded. 

Washington County Giants 405 

Even for our vastly more copious statistics, the age for 
which the corresponding mean heights may be properly 
used in determining the full stature of the average man, 
remains somewhat uncertain. It seems to be shown by 
the present investigation that these ages differ greatly for 
different nationalities, and even for different classes of the 
same people. The suggestion of Villerme that the stature 
is greater, and the growth sooner completed, all other 
things being equal, in proportion as the country is richer, 
and the comfort of its inhabitants more general, seemed 
from his data quite plausible; but it is not supported as a 
general law by the information here collected. It was 
based upon the hypothesis "that misery, that is to say the 
circumstances which accompany it, diminishes the stature 
and retards the epoch of complete development of the 
body." Misery, in its here intended sense of excessive 
poverty, affecting the supply of nutriment, physical pro- 
tection from the weather, and needful rest, hardly exists in 
the United States ; yet the epoch of full development ap- 
pears to be later in this than in any other country. The 
fact, however, that privations or exposure will "stunt" or 
prevent the attainment of normal height is beyond ques- 
tion and appears to explain the results obtained for sailors, 
as will be mentioned hereafter. 

Here follow a number of tables giving measurements, by ages and 
nativities, of 1.232,256 men, of whom 1,104,841 were white soldiers, 
83,800 white sailors, 39,615 colored soldiers, and 4.000 colored sailors. 
From these Dr. Gould reaches his conclusions that the age of full 
stature in the United States is 30 years, and that "the well-known 
phenomenon of a decrease in height after the age of forty-five or 
fifty years exerts but a small influence." 

406 Washington County Giants 


Men in Union Army and Navy, 31 years of age and up. 

No. Cen- 

Nativity measured Inches timeters 

New England 33J&3 68.319 173.63 

N T ew York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.. 61,351 68.109 173.00 

Ohio and Indiana 34.206 68.971 175-19 

Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois 4-570 68.865 174.86 

Slave States, except Kentucky and Tennessee 13,409 68.843 174.86 

Kentucky and Tennessee 12.862 69.300 176.02 

British Provinces 6,667 67.551 171.58 

England 8,899 66.993 170.16 

Scotland 3478 07.579 171.65 

Ireland 24,149 67.138 170.53 

France, Belgium and Switzerland 3-759 66.697 169.41 

Germany 32,559 66.739 169.51 

Scandinavia 3,790 07 .461 171.3S 

Spain and Miscellaneous 4.421 66.766 169.58 

A comparison of these values can hardly fail to suggest 
the suspicion that the full stature for a given nativity may 
be different in the different States, and this is strongly cor- 
roborated by the comparison of the special nativity tables 
made for the men of each several States. Indeed the evi- 
dence thus obtained falls but little short of demonstration. 

Here follow several tables. Table XII gives stature of natives of 
New England who enlisted in New England, as compared with natives 
of New England who enlisted in the western States, and showing an 
excess of stature for the latter at every age except 18 years, the 
average excess for all being .19 inches. Table XIII gives a similar 
comparison for natives of New York, with like results, the average 
excess of stature of those who enlisted in the west being .49 inches. 
Table XIV shows the stature of natives of Ireland and Germany by 
place of enlistment, showing that those of both nationalities who 
enlisted in Indiana averaged taller than those from any other State 
except Missouri, the average being 67.268 for the Irish "from Indiana, 
and 67.584 for those from Missouri : and 66.842 for the Germans from 
Indiana, and 66.965 for those from Missouri. 

The adjoining States of Ohio and Indiana have in general 
been considered together in these investigations, as 

Washington County Giants 407 

"Nativity C." Circumstances led, however, to the separa- 
tion of the natives of these two States during the assort- 
ment of about two-thirds of the Indiana soldiers. This has 
made it possible to give the figures for these soldiers in the 
last table; and here also a comparison of the results, 
obtained from the groups separately, illustrates the same 
principle which is manifested by our other statistics. The 
relative smallness of the difference between the statures of 
natives of these two States might reasonably be supposed 
to elude detection under the circumstances, yet for the 
mean heights we find. 


Age Under 21 21-23 24-26 27-30 31-34 35-up. 

Natives f Number 18,248 9,200 4,900 3,784 2,017 2.239 

of Ind. [Height 67,424 68.628 68.774 68.891 69.095 68.929 

Natives f Number 4,962 3,341 2,204 i,930 1,287 1,882 

of Ohio [ Height 67.263 68.456 68.614 68.668 68.865 68.787 

Excess for Indiana 161 .172 .160 .223 .230 .142 

(The average height of the 4,256 Indiana men of 31 years and up, is 
69.008 inches; and the average excess over the Ohio men is .17 inches.) 

From these tables and other similar ones which might 
be formed from our statistics, the deduction is palpable that 
agencies connected with the State furnishing the men to 
the National army produced a decided effect upon the 
stature, superposed upon whatever other influences may 
have proceeded from the particular stock from which the 
men sprang. 

It is not difficult to form conjectures regarding the nature 
of these agencies. A large proportion of those enlisting in 
other than their native States had doubtless migrated in 
childhood, while their constitution, and especially their 

408 Washington County Giants 

osseous development, was readily affected by external 
influences. Whether these were climatic, social, or alimen- 
tary, it is perhaps premature to discuss at present. That 
residence in the Western States, during the years of growth, 
tends to produce increase of stature, seems established ; and 
the indications are strong that the same is the case with 
many of the Southern states. It would moreover appear 
that those States which show for their natives the highest 
statures, are those which tend most strongly to increase 
the stature of those who remove thither during the period 
of development. The westward course of population pre- 
cludes any trustworthy inferences regarding the converse 
of this statement. And furthermore, it is evident that the 
relative stature for different States follows no manifest 
geographical law. 

The suggestion that calcareous districts, by furnishing a 
more abundant and continuous supply of lime for the bones 
while growing, promote their development, and thus tend 
to increase the stature, seems to afford a partial explanation 
for this phenomenon; but it gives by no means a complete 
solution of the problem, for the variations of stature are not 
by any means proportionate to the amounts of calcareous 
formations near the surface of the soil. Thus the marked 
differences in the average statures of the natives between 
Maine and New Hampshire, and between Vermont and 
New York, cannot be accounted for on this theory. 

P. 131. We may sum up many of our general inferences 
regarding the full stature in a few closing sentences. That 
the stature of a population is not in ordinary cases affected 
by the temperature of the region which it inhabits, as was 
supposed by Buffon, may be regarded as established by the 
small influence which the latitude appears to exert. The 

Washington County Giants 


statistics here collected show how slight any such influence 
must be within the territory of the United States; for the 
differences of stature here seem altogether independent of 
climatic agencies, as will be perceived from a very cursory 
inspection of Table XI. For South America the same fact 
is established by the researches of D'Orbigny, who espe- 
cially discards the theory with emphatic repetition. For 
Europe the non-dependence of stature upon latitude is too 
well known to require illustration, and although there is a 
wide diversity between the statures of the Latin and the 
Teutonic races, it is in the direction opposite to that which 
this theory implies. 

That stature is not a distinctive characteristic of nation- 
ality is demonstrated with equal certainty by these statis- 
tics. Our tables XII to XV show incontestably the agency 
of some local influence, by exhibiting the difference in 
stature between men of the same stock and nativity reared 
in different States. The same conclusion was forced upon 
D'Orbigy by his South American investigations, and the 
statistics of conscription in France and Prussia also make 
this truth manifest by showing the wide diversity in the 
mean stature of men of the same race, and born in districts 
by no means remote from each other. 

That the stature depends in any controlling degree upon 
the domestic circumstances of a population, as affected by 
abundance or need of the comforts of life, according to the 
opinion of Villerme, can scarcely be maintained after con- 
sideration of the facts here presented, although the effects 
of privation or exposure upon the physical growth are 
doubtless recognizable. 

That the stature is chiefly affected by the elevation of 
the districts inhabited, as suggested by D'Orbigny, who 

410 Washington County Giants 

attributes the supposed inferior stature in mountainous 
regions to the prolonged influence of a rarefied atmosphere, 
seems equally untenable. Among the tallest men of Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee and West Virginia are the dwellers upon 
the slopes of the Alleghanies ; the Green Mountains of 
Vermont furnish a race of men among the tallest in all the 
New England States ; yet on the other hand the prairies 
and level fields of Indiana and Illinois afford a population of 
preeminent stature. The tallest men of France inhabit the 
slopes of the Jura. 

That all the influences here considered — climate, nation- 
ality, comfort, elevation — may contribute in some measure 
to affect the stature is more than probable ; that both ances- 
tral and local influences are recognizable is certain. And 
although we cannot succeed in determining what is the 
chief agent, it may not be without value that we furnish 
evidence of what is not. 

(Following this, Doctor Gould gives a number of tables and quota- 
tions as to seamen, negroes, and various races. His table shows 
American sailors at age of full stature ranging from 66.778 for those 
of New England to 67.765 for those from the northwestern States. 
Colored soldiers from the free States averaged 67.056, and those from 
the slave States 67.143. Colored sailors averaged 66.337 for the free 
States and 66.641 for the Slave States. Measurements of 500 Iroquois 
Indians showed an average full stature of 68.665 inches. The senior 
and junior classes at Harvard and Yale averaged from 67.467 at 17 years 
of age to 69.180 at 27 years. The smallest men appear to be the 
Eskimos, who are reported at 130 centimeters. Patagonians, who are 
frequently spoken of as "giants," were found by D'Orbigny to average 
68.1 inches ; and Doctor Gould says : "A probable explanation of the 
exaggerated accounts of the stature of this really tall race of men is 
given by D'Orbigny, who says that the breadth of their shoulders, their 
bare heads, and the manner in which they drape themselves from head 
to foot in the skins of wild animals, produce such an illusion, that his 
own party had attributed to them an excessive stature, before any 
actual comparison or measurement became possible." Of unusually tall 
men, Doctor Gould found 3,613 who measured 75 inches or more in 
those measured, and of these 598 were enlisted in Indiana. This was 

Washington County Giants 


the largest number of men from any one State, but the proportion in 
100,000 men was smaller than for Kentucky, Wisconsin, Minnesota and 
Missouri. He proceeds — ) 

During the investigation of the correctness of the records 
for cases of extreme height, a very considerable number of 
similar cases among the earlier volunteers were brought to 
our knowledge; and it seems probable that the proportion 
of very tall men, among the troops whose descriptive mus- 
ters are not on file, was at least not inferior to that among 
the later enlistments from which our statistics are neces- 
sarily derived. 

Among our own data fifty-one cases of stature, not less 
than eighty inches, were recorded; but many of these were 
found to be erroneous on special investigation. Great exer- 
tions were made to obtain information regarding others, 
who are recorded as follows on the official musters : 

Regiment Hei; 

Unassigned Main Infantry 80 

7th Vermont Infantry 80 

128th New York Infantry.... 81 

100th Ohio Infantry 84 

169th Ohio Infantry 80 

29th Indiana Infantry 80^2 

59th Indiana Infantry 83 

59th Indiana Infantry 83^ 

81st Indiana Infantry 80^ 

89th Indiana Infantry ....82 

153d Indiana Infantry.. 83 

1st Indiana Artillery 80 

31st Illinois Infantry 81K 

106th Illinois Infantry 83 

109th Illinois Infantry .80 

149th Illinois Infantry 83H 

Unassigned Illinois Infantry 80 

Unassigned Illinois Infantry S3 

Unassigned Illinois Infantry 80 

nth Michigan Cavalry 80 

1st Michigan Artillery 81H 

8th Wisconsin Infantry 80 

46th Wisconsin Infantry 80 

46th Wisconsin Infantry 80 

26th Missouri Infantry 84 



Place of Birth 












New York 
















































New York 






New York 






New York 




412 Washington County Giants 

The tallest man for whose stature the testimony is com- 
plete and unimpeachable, is Lieutenant VanBuskirk, of the 
Twenty-seventh Indiana Infantry. General Silas Colgrove, 
formerly colonel of that regiment, writes that he has fre- 
quently seen him measured, and that his stature was fully 
eighty-two and one-half inches, without shoes, or 209 cen- 
timeters. General Colgrove adds that he was a brave man, 
and bore the fatigue of marching as well as most men of 
ordinary stature. 

Corporal Ira Stout, of the Fiftieth Indiana Infantry, Com- 
pany E, was twenty-four years of age, and eighty-one inches 
high (205.7 centimeters) at the date of his enlistment, 
September, 1861. He was born in Ohio county, Indiana, 
was a farmer by occupation, had blue eyes, light hair and 
fair complexion. This information is corroborated by 
Captain Percy Rous, his commanding officer, who states 
that the man was soon discharged on account of disability, 
and had done but little marching at the time. 

Colonel Gregory, of the Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, 
has obtained for us, precise information from Captain 
Charles Ream, of Company K, concerning one of his men, 
for whom he confirms the record. The somewhat inappro- 
priate name of this man was John Bunch ; he was born in 
Ohio, and at his enlistment, September, 1861, was twenty 
years old, eighty and one-half inches tall (204.5 cen ~ 
timeters), by occupation a farmer, with hazel eyes, light 
hair, and light complexion. He was a notorious skulker, 
was never with the regiment in a single battle, and deserted 
in August, 1862. He was known in the regiment as the 
"United States Ramrod." 

Colonel M. W. Tappan, of the First New Hampshire 
Infantry (three months regiment), believes our information 

Washington County Giants 413 

to be correct in the case of Joseph H. Harris, of that regi- 
ment, also eighty and one-half inches (204.5 centimeters) 
in height, aged twenty-six years, born in Vermont, by occu- 
pation a mechanic, eyes blue, hair brown, complexion dark. 

Captain J. B. Redfield, formerly commanding Company 
A of the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers, vouches for the 
record concerning a man in that company, Andrew J. 
Sanders, who was born in New York, and was, at his 
enlistment, twenty years old, and eighty inches (203.2 cen- 
timeters) in height. 

These are the five tallest men whose cases are well 
identified, but only two of them, Bunch and Sanders, are 
included in our tables. The circumstances that three of 
them are from Indiana may be perhaps explained by the 
especially careful inquiries which were made in that State, 
on account of the high average stature of its inhabitants. 
The testimony is overwhelming that very tall men do 
not bear the fatigue of a campagin so well as persons of 
ordinary stature; that they are less capable of performing 
long marches, and are more frequently on the sick list 
at other times. 

APPENDIX "C" (Baxter Statistics) 

Extracts from statistics, medical and anthropological, of 
the Provost Marshal-General's Bureau, Washington, 1875. 

In the latter part of the Civil war, the proportion of 
disabilities from disease occasioned precautions for stricter 
medical examinations for soldiers; and on January 11, 1864, 
the "Medical Bureau of the Provost Marshal-General's 
office" was organized. This took over the biometrical 
work, and examined 605,045 drafted men, of whom 155,73° 
were rejected; 225,369 volunteers, of whom 50,008 were 

414 Washington County Giants 

rejected; and 79,968 substitutes, of whom 21,125 were 
rejected. In 1866 an appropriation was made for compil- 
ing these statistics, which work was completed and pub- 
lished in 1875, under the supervision of Dr. J. H. Baxter, 
These figures cover in part those used by Doctor Gould, 
but are limited to 501,068 measurements that had "exact 
records," and of these 315,620 were of American-born 

Doctor Baxter added a large amount of information ns 
to statistics of other countries, and especially as to the min- 
imum stature prescribed for soldiers. This has vaned at 
different times. The lowest recorded for the ancient 
Romans was sixty-three inches, of our measure; but under 
the Emperor Valentinian, the minimum was raised to 65.55 
inches, and the soldiers of the First Legionary Cohort were 
required to be at least 70.3 inches. In France, Louis XIV 
ordained a minimum of 63.938 inches. During the Napo- 
leonic wars this was dropped to 60.788, and after slight 
changes, was fixed by law in 1872, at 60,631. In the United 
States, the minimum was established in 1790 at sixty-six 
inches, and has usually been near that, though it was 
dropped to sixty inches in 1864, which, of course, reduced 
the averages thereafter. 

There are two of Doctor Baxter's tables that are of 
especial interest here. One is his comparison by States 
with Doctor Gould's figures; but in this he uses the aver- 
ages for all ages in both, and not the age of "full stature" 
(31 years and up) that is used in Doctor Gould's table given 
above. The other is the average by congressional districts, 
which shows startling results for Indiana, the extreme 
variation between the districts being 1.346 inches. The 

Washington County Giants 415 

enlistments at that time were by districts composed as 
follows : 

First. Counties of Daviess, Gibson, Dubois, Knox, Mar- 
tin, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick ; head- 
quarters, Evansville. 

Second. Clarke, Crawford, Floyd, Orange, Harrison, 
Scott, Washington, and Perry; headquarters, Jeffersonville. 

Third. Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Jennings, Jeffer- 
son, Lawrence, Monroe, and Switzerland; headquarters, Co- 

Fourth. Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley, and 
Rush ; headquarters, Greensburg. 

Fifth. Delaware, Fayette, Henry, Union, Randolph and 
Wayne; headquarters, Richmond. 

Sixth. Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, 
and Shelby; headquarters, Indianapolis. 

Seventh. Clay, Greene, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, 
Vermilion, and Vigo; headquarters, Terre Haute. 

Eighth. Boone, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Tippecanoe, 
Montgomery and Warren; headquarters, Lafayette. 

Ninth. Benton, Cass, Fulton, Jasper, Lake, Laporte, 
Marshall, Pulaski, Miami, Porter, Starke, St. Joseph, White, 
and Newton ; headquarters, Laporte. 

Tenth. Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Noble, 
LaGrange, Steuben, and Whitney; headquarters, Kendall- 

Eleventh. Adams, Blackford, Wells, Grant, Howard, 
Hamilton, Huntington, Tipton, Jay, Madison and Wabash ; 
headquarters, Wabash. 

Doctor Baxter's tables follow, with an extract of his dis- 
cussion of the causes of variations. 


Washington County Giants 



State No. Men 

Kentucky and Tennessee 4,252 

Kansas ' 729 

Minnesota 3,682 

Missouri 6,031 

California 1,308 

Nevada 21 

Indiana 38,354 

West Viriginia 5,187 

Wisconsin 10,922 

Maine 12,363 

Iowa 7,823 

Illinois 36,465 

Michigan 12,583 

Maryland 6,918 

Ohio 39,3H 

Vermont 3,374 

Delaware 1,215 

Pennsylvania 47,124 

District of Columbia 2,883 

Rhode Island 3,013 

New York 43.798 

New Jersey 17,084 

New Hampshire 2,801 

Massachusetts 6,280 

Connecticut 2,099 

Baxter Dr. Gould 





















































Second 2,112 

Third 1,709 

First 3,224 

Eleventh 3,404 

Ninth 4./81 

Seventh 4,810 

Fourth 2,307 

Fifth 3,028 

Tenth 3,171 

Sixth 5,097 

Av. Height 

Washington County Giants 417 

Eighth Tn ;, 4.7II 67.570 

1 otal 38,354 Average 68.080 

(The average for the United States was 67.672. Doctor Baxter con- 
curs with Doctor Gould in the belief that the earlier enlistments in 

the Civil war averaged taller than these.) 



P. 16. "A striking peculiarity will be noticed in the 
height of foreigners in the following tables. In every 
instance, this height will be found greater than the mean 
stature ascribed to the nation represented. In like manner, 
emigrants from the Eastern to the Western States exhibit 
a stature superior to that of the residents of their native 
States. Mr. Gould observes that men born in New England, 
but enlisting from the West, were found to have a mean 
height varying from 0.380 inch to 0.340 inch, according to 
age, in excess of the mean height of the volunteers from 
New England itself. 

"The cause of this superior height in those who have left 
their native country has been much debated. Mr. Gould 
suggests, in the case of men removing at an early age from 
the East to the West, that the greater abundance of food 
might have produced this excess. It is true that the fertile 
lands of the West produce more abundant harvests, but it is 
not likely that the supply of sufficient food to the young 
varies in any important degree in the United States. 
Besides, the same peculiar difference is observed to exist 
in the cases of men who have migrated from one western 
State to another, so that the reason assigned is clearly 
unsatisfactory. It has also been argued that the prevalence 
of Cretaceous formation in the geology of the West, by 

418 Washington County Giants 

furnishing a more liberal supply of lime for the bones of the 
growing youth, accounts for the phenomenon of his greater 
stature. Although a deficiency of this material may pre- 
vent hardening, and result in curvature of the long bones, 
there is no proof that a superabundant supply would 
increase their normal length. The natives of Maine, New 
Hampshire, and Vermont, contiguous States, not varying 
greatly in geological character, display marked differences 
in mean stature. The suggestion has also been made that 
men who leave their native soil to seek fortune in other 
lands are corporeally superior specimens of their race; but 
it is yet to be shown that enterprise and ambition depend 
upon stature, and not on qualities of mind. It would, how- 
ever, be of great service to this branch of statistics if a 
record were to be accurately kept of the height, weight and 
age of all male immigrants landing in New York. 

"After all, the true explanation of this curious fact is 
probably to be found in the difference of age of the men 
examined. The height of soldiers in all European countries, 
excepting in Great Britain, is recorded at the period of 
their conscription, and this occurs from their eighteenth to 
their twentieth year. It is indisputably established that 
height continues to increase very perceptibly up to the 
twenty-fifth year ; full growth, indeed, not being completed 
until later. Now the lowest mean age to be found in Tables 
Nos. 4 to 9, inclusive, is 25.248 years, and the mean age of 
the six nativities represented in them is 27.319 years. The 
comparisons, then, have all the time been made of grown 
men, twenty-five years old and upward, with lads of nine- 
teen. According to Quetelet's tables of growth, the mean 
height at nineteen years is 1.655 metres, and at twenty-five 
years it is 1,682 metres — a difference of 2.7 centimetres, or 

Washington County Giants 419 

1.063 inches. Our tables show the mean height at nineteen 
years to be 67.07 inches, and at twenty-five years to be 
68.05 inches. 

"The age announced by other authorities as that of com- 
pleted growth varies considerably. In France, Bernard 
gives it as the thirty-second year; Champouillon from the 
twenty-third to the twenty-eighth; Baron Larrey, the twen- 
ty-eighth; and Allaire, from the thirty-first to the thirty- 
fifth year. In Belgium, Quetelet decides for the thirtieth, 
and in Switzerland M. Dunant for the twenty-sixth year. 
Liharzik, in Vienna, and in England, Aitken, Danson and 
Boyd regard the twenty-fifth as the year of matured growth. 
Doctor Beddoe selects the twenty-third year, though he 
admits a slight increase after that age." 


REPORT, 1869 
P. no, Vol. I. Document No. 14. 

Height and Ages of Indiana Soldiers. 
Exhibit showing the height and ages of 118,254 Indiana 
soldiers in the United States service, War of the Rebellion. 
(There is no record of the descriptions of about 88,000 
soldiers from this State.) 

Document No. 15 

Height No. of Men Age— Years No. of Men. 

Under 61 inches 501 Under x ? >' ears | 7 ° 

At 61 inches 293 At 17 years 634 

At 62 inches 9H At. 18 years 2.935 

At 63 inches 2,503 At 19 years 10,59 

At 64 inches 5,38? At 20 years 9,43. 


Washington County Giants 

At 65 inches 9,17* At 21 years 9705 

At 66 inches 14,373 At 22 years 7,835 

At 67 inches 15,328 At 23 years 6,789 

At 68 inches 19,140 At 24 years 6,013 

At 69 inches 15,472 At 25 years 4,891 

At 70 inches I5,<>47 At 26 years 4,283 

At 71 inches 8,706 At 27 years 3,738 

At 72 inches 6,679 At 28 years 3,929 

At 73 inches 2,614 At 29 years 2,769 

At 74 inches 1,357 At 30 years 3,001 

At 75 inches 409 31 to 34 years 8,39* 

Over 75 inches 336 35. years and over 14,127 

Total reported 118,254 Total reported 118,254 

(In a note to this table, Gen. Terrell gives an extract from a private 
letter to him from Dr. B. A. Gould, saying: "One thing will certainly 
interest you — that it is evident, from our statistics, that the Indiana 
men are the tallest of all natives of the United States, and these 
latter the tallest of al civilized countries." Dr. Gould modified this 
later, as quoted above.) 

Place of birth Number 

Indiana 58,294 

Ohio 22,91 1 

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.. 9,228 

Kentucky and Tennessee 7,677 

Other Slave States 5,947 

Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin 2,124 

New England States 902 

Other Free States 146 

Total American born 107,139 

Germany 5,242 

Ireland 2,983 

England 1,084 

Foreign countries not designated 948 

Canada 61 1 

Scotland 245 

Total Foreign born 11,115 

Grand Total 1 18,254 

(The total number over 6 feet tall, in the above measurements is 
11,392 or nearly 10 per cent. At page 240 Gen. Terrell gives the 
average height of 38,850 "drafted men, recruits and substitutes, natives 
of the United States, and citizens of Indiana," at 5 feet, 7.28 inches.) 

Washington County Giants 421 

(Non-official information) 

Extracts from History of Twenty-Seventh Indiana Vol- 
unteer Infantry, by Edmund R. Brown, of Company C, 
later Department Commander Grand Army of the Republic, 

P. 21. "As to nativity, the majority of the Twenty-sev- 
enth were simply Western conglomerates. At least ninety 
per cent, of the officers and men, if not more, were Ameri- 
can born. But, while a few of them were descendants of 
that band of numerous progeny — the original freightage of 
the Mayflower — and of other early settlers of the Colonies, 
many of them were of the third or second, or even of the 
first generation, born this side of the Atlantic. If some of 
us proudly claimed a strain of Puritan or Cavalier blood in 
our veins, it had undeniably been crossed with German and 
Low Dutch, Scotch and Irish, until it was impossible to 
decide which now predominated, and few cared about it 
anyway. * * * One of our companies had such a pre- 
ponderance of German-speaking men in it that we called 
it our "Dutch Koompany." Yet most of these young men 
who spoke the English language brokenly, had been born in 
the United States, and, in some instances, their fathers 
before them had been. With them, in the same company. 
were also men not of German descent, and, along with the 
rest, were three or four genuine Hibernians, rather recent 
arrivals. All of the companies had more or less of these 
'sprigs of the Emerald Isle.' * * * 

"A characteristic of the Twenty-seventh that often at- 
tracted attention was the large proportion of tall men which 

422 Washington County Giants 

it contained. It is generally known that we had with us 
the tallest man in the entire United States army. This has 
been definitely settled. Capt. David Buskirk stood full six 
feet eleven and one-half inches in his stockings. It was 
the plan, at first that his company should be composed 
wholly of men six feet tall or over. Though this was found 
impracticable, the company still had in it, at the start, 
eighty men of that class. 

"It would be safe to say that the other companies aver- 
aged at least fifty six-footers each. Some quite short men 
(or boys) brought the average down considerably; but the 
matter of our unusual average height was the subject of 
frequent remark, particularly in the early part of our ser- 

"And we measured well, in comparison with others, in 
at least one other respect. In that respect we exceeded 
some others by many feet. Quartermaster-sergeant Crose 
often referred to his comical, though laborious, experiences 
in supplying the men with shoes that were large enough for 
them. Each time he drew shoes, it was necessary for him 
to bundle up the fives and sixes and go around among the 
neighboring regiments and exchange them for nines and 
tens. For this purpose, the Ninth New York and Twenty- 
ninth Pennsylvania were his favorite resorts, while they 
remained in the Brigade. They contained mostly city-bred 
men, with diminutive pedal extremities. 

"On the point of the average age of the men of the 
Twenty-Seventh, it is more difficult to speak, in the 
enforced absence of the figures. The opinion has been 
expressed that the average was higher than in most other 
regiments. The writer does not concur in that opinion. 
The fact that our men had been so generally accustomed 

Washington County Giants 423 

to out-door life and to physical labor, may have given them 
an older appearance than if the contrary had been true. 
Anyway, the few known facts at hand and the general 
impression as it is recalled, seems to the writer to be con- 
clusive that the Twenty-seventh was below, rather than 
above, the average age. At all events the average could 
not have been high. 


P. 596. "This company was peculiar at the start in at 
least three respects. First, it had three very tall men for 
commissioned officers; two of them being the tallest men 
in the regiment, and one being the tallest in the Union 
army. Secondly, it had more tall men than any other com- 
pany in the Twenty-seventh. Thirdly, the homes of its 
members were the most widely scattered over the State. 

"Company F was frequently called The New Albany 
Railroad Company.' It was also twitted good humoredlv 
as hailing from between the two State's prisons. New 
Albany and Michigan City, at opposite extremes of Indiana, 
almost three hundred miles apart, were represented in the 
company, as well as many of the towns between them. The 
prominent reason for this was that several of the company 
had been employes of the railroad (the Monon) connecting 
these two points. 

"An officer of such giant-like stature as Lieutenant 
(afterward Captain) Van Buskirk could not fail to invest a 
company with some special interest. This is still more evi- 
dent when it is remembered that in his disposition and 
habits he was almost as different from others as in his 
stature. He was remarkable for his simple, unaffected and 
kindly ways. He was always approachable, to everybody 

424 Washington County Giants 

and he had no hesitancy in approaching others. A major- 
general was no more to him than a private soldier. Owing 
to his absolute sincerity and utter absence of asperity, as 
much as to his size, no one ever took offence at anything 
he said." 

Extract from Bloomington Republican, July 13, 1861. 

"RECRUITING. Peter Kopp and several other gentle- 
men of this place are raising a company of grenadiers for 
the United States service. They admit no recruits under 
five feet ten inches, and equally stout and able-bodied. We 
pity the rebel upon whose neck the foot of 'Big Pete' shall 
come down with a vengeance. There will be no chance for 
him to even say his prayers before his life is crushed out of 
him. Some of the others engaged in raising the company 
are among our most athletic citizens. Their recruiting 
office, we believe, is at Williams & Sluss livery stables." 


The following items concerning Company F, indicate that the repor- 
torial forces of Indianapolis were nearly "swamped" by the rapid 
arrivals of volunteers at the beginning of the war ; and also that the 
incoming soldiers were at times disposed to "have fun" with the 

"The Monroe County Grenadiers, Captain B. Pete, 
arrived yesterday, and will go into camp at Camp Morton." 
Sentinel, August 8, 1861. 

gentleman who has seen service in Napoleon's wars, arrived 
in the city yesterday with a company of six-footers that he 
had recruited for the United States service. Captain Kopp, 

Washington County Giants 425 

with his corps, went into camp at Camp Morton and he 
will immediately enter upon the business of drilling them 
so that they may be ready to answer as soldiers should at 
the call of their country." Sentinel, August 13. 


ago a company of 'six-footers' arrived in this city from 
Monroe county and went into camp. The company is 
composed of the largest men we have seen from any section 
of the State. The second lieutenant is a 'whale.' but some 
of the others are whales, too, but a trifle smaller. The fol- 
lowing are the officers of the company. 

Peter Kop, Captain; 

Francis Otwell, First Lieutenant ; 

David V. Buskirk, Second Lieutenant." Tournal, August 

"Captain Kop, of Monroe county, the commander 
of the six-foot grenadiers, now at Camp Morton, is putting 
his company of magnificent Hoosiers through their daily 
drills rigidly, determined to have the most soldier like corps 
in the regiment." Sentinel, August 18. 

"Col. Colgrove's regiment, left for Washington 
unarmed, because he refused the arms tendered him by 
Governor Morton." Sentinel, September 23. 



The family of Captain David Van Buskirk presents some 
interesting features in the matter of heredity in physical 
development, and especially as to the points of deviation 

426 Washington County Giants 

from and recurrence to type. It is also a family which 
presents in a forcible way the problem of stature influences 
in the Second Congressional District of Indiana, as the 
ancestors who located there were not notably tall. Capt. 
Van Buskirk died on August 12, 1886, on the family farm, 
where he was born, near Gosport ; and the fullest account 
of him in print is an obituary notice published in The 
Republican Progress, of Bloomington, on August 18, 1886. 
The editor of the paper was a personal friend, and the 
account appears to be accurate, with the exception of a 
few minor errors. As original material it is worthy of 
preservation, and is therefore reproduced here, as follows: 


"David V. Buskirk, one of the best known men of Mon- 
roe county, died at his home in Bean Blossom township, 
on Thursday afternoon, last. About a year ago, Mr. Bus- 
kirk, who was an extraordinarily large and corpulent man, 
became alarmed by the difficulty he experienced in breath- 
ing, and fearing danger from fatty degeneration of the 
heart, which his physicians advised him was threatened, 
he begun to use precautions in diet, and resorted to other 
means to reduce his abnormal weight. For a time his symp- 
toms and condition gave promise of permanent improve- 
ment, but dropsy was finally developed and he begun to 
grow rapidly worse some two months ago, and died from 
blood poisoning brought about by his general condition. A 
number of members of the various Grand Army Posts, and 
other citizens, attended the funeral on Friday afternoon, 
and the burial took place on the farm, in the family burying 
ground. Few men have been more respected and honored 
than 'Big Dave Buskirk,' as he was generally called, and 

Washington County Giants 427 

few men have been more richly entitled to the confidence 
of his fellows by reason of honesty, true friendship, general 
morality and worth of character. He was the soul of honor 
and integrity, and was fully appreciated by his neighbors 
and acquaintances. The following with reference to 
deceased, is taken from the 'History of Monroe county.' 
and is supposed to be accurate : 

"David Van Buskirk, farmer and stock raiser, was born 
upon the farm he has always occupied, November (October) 
23, 1826, and was the eldest of ten children born to James 
and Mariah (Campbell) Van Buskirk, natives of Ohio and 
Tennessee, and of German (Dutch) and Scotch-Irish de- 
scent respectively. David was reared on a farm, was fairly 
educated, and on March 16, 1849, married Lucy Ann. 
daughter of Isaac and Patience (Stillwell) Buskirk, of Ger- 
man (Dutch) lineage. Mr. Van Buskirk, by this marriage 
had six children, born to him: D. C, J. I., Cinthy (Ridge), 
John, Thomas and Getty. He lost his wife March 16, 1866. 
He was next married, May 26, 1867, to Mrs. Martha Able, 
of Monroe county, and daughter of Madison and Sarah 
(Wilborn) Stephenson. They had born to them two chil- 
dren : Michael (deceased) and Mariah Ann. Mrs. Van B. 
died February 22, 1873, an< ^ our subject took for his third 
wife, October 26, 1874, Mary Able, sister of the second wife. 
He enlisted in July, 1861, in Company F, Twenty-seventh 
Indiana Infantry, under Capt. Peter Clapp (Kopp) and Col. 
Silas Colgrove. He was engaged first in the first battle of 
Winchester, where he was taken prisoner, being confined 
for about three months. He was finally sent to Annapolis. 
Md., exchanged and next took part in the battles of Chan- 
cellorsville and Gettysburg, besides numerous skirmishes. 
He went out as Second Lieutenant, but his captain was 

428 Washington County Giants 

killed during his imprisonment, and he received an appoint- 
ment as First Lieutenant, and after the battle of Antietam, 
made Captain. In the fall of 1862 his command was trans- 
ferred to General Thomas' division, and on April 26, 1864, 
he resigned on account of disability, and returned to farm- 
ing. In 1866-68, he was elected county treasurer of Monroe 
county, on the Republican ticket, but was defeated in a 
struggle for State treasurer in 1876. He had not since made 
any attempt to secure office. Mr. Van Buskirk owned 450 
acres of land on White River bottom, highly cultivated, 
well stocked, and which had the addition of a fine residence, 
out buildings and orchard, and was one of our oldest 
settlers, having always lived here. He had provided hand- 
somely for all his children, and had always taken great 
interest in their education, having given them all courses 
at college. He enjoyed good health until he left the army, 
since which time he had been affected with rheumatism. 
Mr. Van Buskirk was the largest and tallest man in the 
county, and one of the largest in the State. He weighed 
390 pounds, and stood six feet ten inches in his stockings. 
He was a Republican, and very benevolent. Mr. Van B.'s 
grandfather, Isaac Van Buskirk, was a soldier of the Revo- 
lution, and his uncle, John Van Buskirk, served in the war 
of 1812, having been wounded at the battle of Tippecanoe. 
Isaac, son of John Van Buskirk, served in the Mexican war, 
and in the late rebellion. He was killed at the battle of 
Chancellorsville, at the time being a lieutenant. The wives 
of the above mentioned soldiers are all sleeping peacefully 
in the family graveyard on David Van Buskirk's place. This 
burying ground is located on a hill east of the house, and 
from the spot you may command a view of the entire 

Washington County Giants 429 

The family tradition is that the original American ances- 
tors were two Van Boskerk brothers who came over from 
Holland, in their own ship, to New Amsterdam. The ship 
was ballasted with brick, with which they erected the first 
brick house on Manhattan Island. They were unquestion- 
ably an old Knickerbocker family, as may be seen from 
mention of them in the various publications of the old 
Dutch records of New York. 

The original Indiana ancestors were two brothers, Isaac 
and Michael, both Revolutionary soldiers. It is said that 
the reason why part of the family dropped the "Van" was 
that Michael's land warrant was made out without it; and, 
as it would have been necessary to go back to Pittsburg to 
have it corrected, he decided that it would be simpler to 
change his name. However, the same change has been made 
by most of the descendants of Isaac, also. Captain David 
did not use it, but used "V" as a middle initial. 

The Revolutionary Isaac served in the "Virginia Guards," 
and his record, and those of three succeeding generations of 
soldiers, are on their tombstones at Gosport. He came to 
Indiana from West Virginia in 1805, and first located near 
Campbellsburg, in Washington county, removing thence to 
the farm near Gosport, which has since been known as the 
family home. He was about six feet tall, and rather slender 
in build. He had eight sons and four daughters. Of his 
sons, the descendants of three present some noteworthy 

Perhaps the descendants of his son Abram are most wide- 
ly known in Indiana, on account of political prominence. 
Abram had four sons, viz: John B. ; Judge Samuel, of the 
Supreme Court of Indiana; Judge George A., of Blooming- 
ton; and Judge Edward C, of Indianapolis. None of these 

430 Washington County Giants 

were tall men except George A., who was over six feet, and 
quite heavy. But George Buskirk, of Indianapolis, a son of 
John B., who is five feet nine inches in height, has a son, 
Fred G. who is six feet one, and a grandson, fourteen years 
of age, who is taller than his grandfather, and weighs 132 
pounds. Judge Thomas Buskirk, of Paoli, another son of 
John B., who is five feet seven, has a son, Horace K., who 
is six feet; and a grandson, Thomas B., Jr., who is six feet 
one, at nineteen years of age. 

Another son of the Revolutionary Isaac, was John, who 
was severely wounded at the battle of Tippecanoe. It is 
stated that "he was speared through, and they pulled a silk 
handkerchief through the wound to cleanse it." He recov- 
ered, but the wound eventually caused his death. He was 
the father of two Union soldiers, who served in Company F, 
of the Twenty-seventh Indiana regiment, whose pictures 
are reproduced herewith. Lieutenant Isaac Buskirk was 
familiarly known as "Blue Ike," on account of a blue birth- 
mark on his cheek, and to distinguish him from several 
other Isaacs. Sergeant John Buskirk was familiarly known 
as "Sandy." Both of these brothers were over six feet tall, 
and of rugged build. 

The most notable of the sons of the Revolutionary Isaac, 
in connection with the question of stature, was James. He 
was six feet one, and quite fleshy. He married Maria Camp- 
bell, of an Ohio family who were all tall. Of their chil- 
dren, David V. was six feet ten and one-half inches, in his 
stockings; Joseph, now living at Moscow, Idaho, is six feet 
four; James, now at the Soldiers Home, at Danville, Illinois, 
is six feet two; Isaac, who died during the civil war, and 
three daughters, Jerusha, Cynthia and Mary, were all about 
six feet. 

Washington County Giants 431 

Capt. David V., of this family, was born on the family 
farm, near Gosport, and grew up there. He married his 
cousin, Lucy V. Buskirk, who was a small woman, weighing 
about 130 pounds. They had four sons and two daughters 
who are now living, as follows: David C., now seventy-one 
years of age, and living at Long Beach, California, is six 
feet, two; Isaac, living at Gosport, is six feet five; Thomas 
(Judge), living at Bloomfield, is six feet two; John, living 
at Ben Davis, is six feet one, and the two girls: Cynthia, 
(Mrs. John T. R. Ridge, of Gosport), and Gettysburg, 
teacher at the girl's school at Clermont, are about six feet. 

David V. Buskirk was very strong and active as well as 
unusually tall. His ordinary weight was about 385 pounds. 
It is said that after his boys were grown he could life two of 
them at arm's length. His oldest boy, David C, was nick- 
named "Scroggy," and on his twenty-first birthday, his 
father said : "Scroggy, the day I was twenty-one, I laid my 
father on his back on the barn floor." Scroggy thought it 
was possible that he could duplicate the record; and his 
father observed that he was rather stiff with rheumatism 
since the war, but would give him a trial. When they 
clinched, Scroggy was lifted up and laid on the floor like a 

In his youth, he was a great wrestler. On one occasion 
he was flat-boating to New Orleans, and they tied up for 
the night on the Tennessee shore. One of the boatmen, 
named Davis, who was himself a noted wrestler, went 
ashore, and announced that they had a man aboard who 
could throw any man in Tennessee. Somebody said to send 
for "Big Eph," and shortly a very powerful negro appeared. 
He sized up Buskirk, and said: "Say when you're ready." 
Buskirk said "ready," and in a trice the negro clinched him 

432 Washington County Giants 

and had him down. Buskirk got up, and said : "Now you 
say when you're ready." When they clinched he avoided 
the negro's trick throw, and after a warm struggle threw 
the negro for the second and third falls. This was the only 
time he was ever thrown. 

One of the popular tests of strength in early times was 
lifting with a handspike. A handspike was put under a 
log that was too heavy for two men to lift, projecting 
equally on both sides. When the contestants lifted at the 
two ends, the necessary result was that the stronger pulled 
up his end, and forced his opponent to let go. David V. 
Buskirk was never defeated at this. After the war, there 
was a very powerful negro, named Tom Travis, employed at 
the saw-mill on the Buskirk place, who had outlifted every- 
body in the vicinity. One day he told Captain Buskirk 
that he was sorry he had not known him before he was 
crippled by rheumatism, as he would have liked to lift 
against him. The captain replied that he could not bend 
over to lift from the ground, but that he would give him a 
trial with a log that was high enough above the ground to 
avoid the need of bending. The test was made in that way, 
and Travis was able to stand the strain for only a few 
seconds before he was forced to abandon his hold. 

Captain Buskirk's death was caused by dropsy, which as 
usual increased his normal size. It is stated that at his fu- 
neral it was necessary to enlarge the door of the house to 
get the coffin in and out; and that there were six horses 
to the hearse — this being explained by the statement that 
the roads were bad. That condition would make the pre- 
caution reasonable, for when the roads in that vicinity are 
bad, they are very, very bad. 

Washington County Giants 433 


Spanish-American War Statistics 

Measurements of 5,768 Indiana troops, Spanish-Am. war. 
(At time of enlistment) 

Nativity No. 6 ft. Average Height 

Indiana 4410 142 5 ft. 7.70 in. 

Ohio 401 8 5 7.52 

Kentucky and Tennessee 136 3 5 7.47 

111., Mich., Wise, Minn 295 n 5 7.97 

Other States 344 10 5 7.80 

Foreign born 182 5 5 7.52 

Totals 5,768 179 5 7.67 

Note. The official published "Record of Indiana Volun- 
teers in the Spanish-American War" tabulates 7,421 men, 
but without their measurements. In the muster-rolls there 
do not appear any measurements for the Signal Corps, the 
Engineer Company, and the Colored Companies, which pre- 
sumably accounts for the total of only 5,768 measurements. 

Tabulation of One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Indiana 
Spanish-American War. 

Nativity No. 6 ft. Average Height 


Staff &c 15 o 5 ft. 7-75 in. 

Company A 68 4 5 8.41 

Company B 66 3 5 7-8o. 

Company C 81 1 5 7-4^ 

Company D 83 5 7-39 

Company E 63 1 5 7-87 

Company F 98 6 5 8.23 

Company G 69 5 6.83 

Company H 76 I 5 7-49 

Company 1 65 o 5 7-28 

Company K 65 2 5 7-43 

Company L 88 5 5 8.05 

Company M 80 6 5_ 

Totals 917 29 5 7.69 


Washington County Giants 

Ohio 126 5 5 7.67 

Kentucky and Tennessee 4 o 5 6.81 

Mich., Wise, 111., Minn 71 4 5 8.33 

Other States 69 2 5 7.00 

Foreign born 43 1 5 6.68 

Regt. Totals 1,230 36 5 7.65 

Notes. Exceptional stature, Ongle A. Moritz, Co. B, 6 ft. 5^ in., 
age 18, born at Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Company F are all recorded as born at South Bend — absurd, of 

One Hundred and Fifty-eighth Regiment, Spanish- 
American War. 

Nativity No. 6 ft. Average Height 


Staff &c 22 o 5 ft. 8.44 in. 

Company A 61 2 5 8.42 

Company B 69 3 5 7.52 

Company C 66 1 5 7.32 

Company D 66 1 5 7.70 

Company E 69 5 7.35 

Company F 65 3 5 7.97 

Company G 71 3 5 7.35 

Company H 59 2 5 8.21 

Company 1 67 3 5 7.66 

Company K 72 1 5 7.80 

Company L 63 3 5 7.49 

Company M 66 1 5 7.61 

Ind. totals 816 23 5 7.71 

Ohio 59 2 5 7.27 

Kentucky and Tennessee 21 5 6.88 

111.. Mich., Wise. Minn 41 2 5 7.63 

Other States 59 3 5 7.70 

Foreign born 17 1 5 8.72 

Regt. totals 1,013 31 5 7.68 

One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Regiment, Spanish-American War. 

Washington County Giants 435 

Nativity No. 


Staff &c 24 

Company A 59 

Company B 57 

Company C 67 

Company D 76 

Company E 56 

Company F 63 

Company G 74 

Company H 72 

Company 1 68 

Company K 79 

Company L 59 

Company M 53 

Ind. totals 807 

Ohio 22 

Kentucky and Tennessee 50 

111., Mich., Wise, Minn 69 

Other States 51 

Foreign born 20 

Regt. totals 1,019 32 5 7.66 

One Hundred and Sixtieth Regiment, Spanish-American 


Nativity No. 


Staff &c 17 

Company A 56 

Company B 66 

Company C 74 

Company D 73 

Company E 58 

Company F 74 

Company G 72 

Company H 68 

Company 1 73 

Company K 61 

Company L 54 

Company M 66 

Ind. totals 812 23 5 7-48 





5 ft. 

8.2 in. 






















































5 ft. 

8.60 in. 


































43 6 

Washington County Giants 

Ohio 83 

Kentucky and Tennessee 5 

111., Mich., Wise, Minn 32 

Other States 61 

Foreign born 28 

Regt. totals 1,021 














One Hundred and Sixty-first Regiment, Spanish-American 


Nativity No. 


Staff &c 8 

Company A 15 

Company B 82 

Company C 86 

Company D 83 

Company E 77 

111., Mich., Wise, Minn 74 

Company F. . . 72 

Company G 74 

Company H 83 

Company 1 76 

Company K 91 

Company L 61 

Company M 76 

Ind. totals 884 

Ohio 92 

Kentucky and Tennessee 56 

Other States 82 

Foreign born 61 

Regt. totals 1,249 

5 ft. 

Average Height 

5 ft. 

7.60 in. 

























































Twenty-seventh Artillery, Spanish-American War. 

Nativity No. 6 ft. Average Height 


Staff &c 25 2 5 ft. 8.80 in. 

Men 69 2 5 7.77 

Ohio 8 o 5 7.94 

111., Mich., Wis., Minn 6 2 5 9.90 

Kentucky and Tennessee o o 

Washington County Giants 437 

Other States i 4 5 66? 

Foreign born 3 5 ? ^ 

Battery totals 125 6 5 7.06 

Twenty-eighth Artillery, Spanish-American War. 

Nativity No. 6 ft. Average Height 


Staff &c 17 o 5 ft. 8.03 in. 

Men 63 2 5 8.77 

Ohio 11 1 5 8.59 

111., Mich., Wise., Minn 2 o 5 8.00 

Kentucky and Tennessee o o 

Other States 8 o 5 7.59 

Foreign born 10 5 5.92 

Battery totals in 3 5 8.29 


World War Statistics 
Table. Mean Stature by States of Soldiers at Demobiliza- 
tion (1919) 

State No. of Men 


United States 102,304 

Alaska 13 

Mississippi , 2,009 

Tennessee 2,807 

Texas 4-36i 

Alabama 1,930 

Georgia 3,397 

Oklahoma 2,310 

Nebraska 819 

Kansas 1 > 012 

Arkansas 2,576 

South Dakota 4^6 

Oregon l &9 

Washington 2 '°^ 

Montana 2 °4 

Arizona J3j> 

South Carolina 828 

Mean Stature 



438 Washington County Giants 

Minnesota 1,950 68.31 

Iowa 1 ,609 68.28 

Idaho 164 68.26 

Florida 1,022 68.22 

North Carolina 1,815 68.22 

West Virginia 1,686 68.20 

Utah 104 68.19 

Wyoming- 80 68.19 

Kentucky 2,921 68.13 

Colorado 225 68.13 

Virginia 1 1,920 68.or 

Missouri 2,836 67.98 

North Dakota 358 67.96 

Nevada 18 67.91 

California 481 67.91 

Louisiana 2,070 67.86 

New Mexico 229 67.82 

Wisconsin 2,675 67.79 

Indiana 3,944 ' 67.73 

Illinois 6,687 67.65 

District of Columbia 231 67.60 

Ohio 7,076 67.48 

Michigan 3,715 67.32 

Delaware 300 67.26 

Maryland 1,138 67.20 

Vermont 446 67.19 

Maine 693 67.17 

Connecticut 996 67.08 

Pennsylvania 10,874 67.01 

New Jersey 3, 180 66.93 

New York 9,207 66.92 

New Hampshire 413 66.80 

Massachusetts 4,782 66.77 

Rhode Island 403 66.54 

Table. Mean Stature by States, of Recruits. 

States Arranged in Order of Standing. 

State No. of Men Mean Stature 

Measured Inches 

United States 873,038 67.49 

Texas 34,531 68.40 

Oklahoma 19,429 68.28 

Mississippi 8,543 68.27 

Washington County Giants 430 

I e r nessee 14,426 

Arkansas .„,., 

Kansas ' ' 68 - 2 ° 

StoSdo":.::::::::::::::::: a£ *« 

North Carolina . . . . ! ! .' ! ! ." ." ! ." .' ! ! 1^668 « !5 

&ST 3 ' 850 »3 

|? aho 4,031 68.10 

fc n ka • 2-748 68.09 

South Dakota 3i8o2 ^ 

Minnesota ■ 27,341 68.04 

Kentucky I5>502 ^ 

Alabama ISf988 68.01 

Montana II( 6 4 8 6801 

S e r or f! a 20,305 67.99 

Washington 13.316 67.96 

Missouri 24,064 67.95 

North Dakota 6,444 67^92 

West Virginia 12,367 67.87 

Utah 4)5 68 67.85 

Nevada 1,441 67.83 

Virginia 17,616 67.80 

Wyoming 1,927 67.79 

Indiana 23,194 67.75 

California 35,461 67.67 

South Carolina 9,343 67.64 

District of Columbia 4,486 67.63 

Louisiana 12,356 67.60 

Wisconsin '. . . . 18,433 67.60 

Florida 5,895 67.58 

New Mexico 2,690 67.50 

Illinois 69,491 67.40 

Ohio 52,814 67.38 

Maine 3.3*5 67.28 

Michigan 41 ,872 67.23 

Delaware 1,891 67.19 

Vermont 2,077 67.12 

Maryland 9.192 67.08 

New Hampshire 2,240 66.07 

New Jersey 29,958 66.77 

Massachusetts 29.534 66.76 

New York 87,818 66.72 

Pennsylvania 77J86 66.7-' 

Connecticut 13.585 66.71 

Rhode Island 3,928 66.40 

440 Washington County Giants 


Extract from "Centennial History of Washington County, 
Indiana" by Warden W. Stevens (Indianapolis, 1916), pp. 


In early times Washington county was celebrated far 
and wide as being the home of a race of giants, and the 
wonderful feats of strength performed by some of these 
men are scarcely believable. There were a number of stal- 
warts who knew not how strong they were when under 
any kind of excitement or when their power was put to the 
test. Among the men who made up the class of giants 
that gave the county its reputation were Abram Stover, 
Thomas Denney, James Uppinghouse, James Lee, John 
Brough, William Cravens and others. 

It was generally conceded that Stover possessed the 
greatest strength of them all and a number of incidents 
have been handed down relative to his gigantic strength. 
He was a man of commanding appearance, six feet high, 
with a huge frame and sturdy manhood. He never vaunted 
about the superiority of his muscular powers, was never 
quarrelsome, but stood up for his rights and was ever 
ready to meet an opponent on friendly terms, even if it 
came to a fist fight to settle the mooted question. In fact, 
none of the strong men of early days were prone to be 
quarrelsome. Had they been vicious and of a fighting 
disposition, they would have been the terror of the country. 
When a young man showed that he possessed extraordinary 
strength and prowess, he always had his champions and 
backers ready to pit him against any and all comers of 
like age and experience. 

Washington County Giants 441 

These lists were usually planned for muster days and 
4th of July celebrations. A ring was formed in which the 
contestants met and woe be to the individual who dared to 
interfere any way in the contest, other than to urge his 
favorite to supreme effort, or prompt him what to do. A 
public gathering of any kind was a very dull affair if there 
were not a number of fights, wrestles and foot races to 
give life to the occasion. 

Thomas Denney was always considered a close second 
to Stover, as a powerful man, and many of his champions 
were ready to stake their money on him, if a contest 
between the two men could be arranged. The two men 
were close friends and could not be induced to engage in a 
fist and skill contest publicly, but their partisans finally 
arranged for a "whisky barrel" contest during a public 
gathering at Salem. The test was to be taking of a barrel 
of whisky by the chime, raising it up and drinking out of the 
bunghole. Judges were selected and a full barrel of whisky 
was rolled out in the street. It fell to Denney's lot to make 
the first test. After "lifting" the barrel, which weighed 
about four hundred pounds, he slowly raised it up and took 
a drink out of the bunghole. Stover walked up leisurely, 
laid hold of the barrel, raised it up easily, took the drink 
and set it down without a jar. There was then some dis- 
cussion about the decision, each side claiming the victory, 
but the judges, after mature deliberation, gave the wager 
to Stover, because he had made a clean lift, while Denney 
had rolled the barrel part of the way up against his legs. 

This test did not exactly satisfy Denney, so, meeting 
Stover in Salem a short time after this test was made, he 
proposed that they go upstairs into an empty room, on the 
corner of lot 9, north side of the square, and take a friendly 

44 2 Washington County Giants 

set-to, in order that the matter would be satisfactorily 
settled, no outsiders to be admitted. Stover readily con- 
sented, and upstairs they went, laid off their coats and 
began their knock-down test. After sparring a bit, Stover 
planted one of his mauls squarely on the side of Denney's 
head and down he went. After taking a few breaths they 
went at it again, when Stover, watching his opportunity, 
landed a heavy blow in Denney's face, bringing a flow of 
blood and sending him staggering against the wall. The 
merchant below, hearing something fall heavily upon the 
floor above, proceeded to investigate the matter. When he 
reached the room they were just turning for their coats, 
when Denney remarked, "Where shall we go to take it." 
Often after that time their partisans would endeavor to get 
up a fight between them, but the response of each would be, 
"He is a mighty stout man and we prefer to be friends." 


Upon one occasion there was a log-rolling south of Salem 
and Stover went early to lend a helping hand. James 
Uppinghouse put in an appearance in the afternoon and had 
sought an opportunity, for some time, to test his strength 
with Stover. Shortly after his arrival he noised it around 
that he had come with the intention of whipping Stover 
before he left the clearing and took particular pains to 
exasperate him in many ways. Finally, some one told 
Stover about the threat Uppinghouse had made, which put 
him on his guard. The never-failing jug was passed around 
frequently and it wasn't long till Uppinghouse began to 
feel that he was the best man in the State, and again di- 
rected his insults toward Stover, when the latter said, "I 
understand you have come here to give me a licking." 

Washington County Giants 


Uppinghouse said, "That's my intention," to which Stover 
replied, "Well, here we go.' They squared off for the Eight, 
every one present gathering around to witness the contest. 
Uppinghous made a few unsuccessful passes at Stover who 
waited for a favorable opportunity, when he landed a blow 
between his opponent's eyes, knocking him backward and 
over a log some ten feet distant, seemingly a dead man. 
Bystanders went to him and with whisky and water duly 
administered, brought him to his senses again, when, after 
being assisted to his feet, he said: "Abe, give me your hand. 
I don't desire any further test, and from henceforth I am 
your friend." 

James Lee was much of a man and in all his bouts with 
others always came out successfully. He was over six 
feet tall, weighed over two hundred pounds and was indeed 
a very wiry, athletic man. He finally concluded he was a 
match for Stover and upon several occasions sought a set- 
to with Stover. There was an election in Salem when he 
finally picked a quarrel with Stover, who became quite 
enraged, and at the first pass he downed Lee and went after 
him with fire in his eyes, but a half dozen men laid hold of 
him and finally dragged him off of his opponent and suc- 
ceeded in quieting him down a bit, when Stover, taking a 
good breath said : "Boys, I am glad you came to Lee's 
rescue, for I might have killed him." 

Grocers used to buy all their sugar in large hogheads. 
weighing a thousand or twelve hundred pounds. One had 
been received by a grocer on the south side of the public 
square, near where Stover and some friends were seated on 
a bench engaged in conversation. A young man. who was 
one of the bullies of the town, came along and having about 
three good drams ahead, saw Stover and offered to bet him 

444 Washington County Giants 

that he could put the hogshead of sugar on end. Stover 
remarked : "Young man, I never bet, but that is a pretty 
good lift for you or any other common man." At this the 
young fellow seized hold of the hogshead and set it up- 
right, when, slapping his fists together, he swore that he 
"was the best man in the county, young or old, and if any 
man didn't believe it, let him try it on." Stover made no 
reply, which emboldened the young fellow to move up 
closer to the old man and continue his braggadocio. Stover 
rose up slowly, doubled up his monster fists and said : 
"Young man, I am getting a little past my prime, perhaps, 
but (taking a step forward) I think I am as good as ever 
for a few jerks." Stover's manner and appearance were 
enough for the young blood, and reaching out his hand 
towards Stover said: "It's my treat, come on." When 
asked afterward why he calmed down so suddenly, he said: 
"When I saw those huge fists and that mighty man facing 
me, I saw I had no business with him other than to cultivate 
his friendship and then retire in good order." 


Colonel Stover had a son-in-law, named John Brough, 
who was a powerful man and had never been worsted in 
any of his athletic contests with others. He was so con- 
fident of his superiority over his fellows that he even 
imagined that he was a match for his father-in-law. They 
met at a log-rolling east of Salem and after a few whiffs at 
the jug he bantered Colonel Stover for a tussel just for a 
little fun. Stover told him to make a "running shoot" at 
him and he'd see about it. Brough slipped back a few feet 
and came at the colonel like a catapult. As he came in 
reach the old man caught him by his trousers and about the 

Washington County Giants 445 

neck, raised him up and threw him back over his head. 
Brough landed on some poles and broke his leg. 

Upon one occasion a muscular fellow who clerked in 
Booth's store, on the north side of the square, made the 
assertion that no man could put him over the counter. 
Uppinghouse accepted the challenge and essayed the task. 
A long tussel ensued, and when Uppinghouse began to tire 
the young fellow watched his opportunity and unexpectedly 
toppled his adversary over the counter, who fell with a thud 
that jarred the whole building. The young man then 
boasted that no man could put him over, not excepting 
Stover. The colonel happened to be in town and was 
hunted up and told that a fellow wanted to see him at 
Booth's corner. A large crowd followed to see the sport. 
Arriving at the store, Stover was told what had happened 
and of the banter made by the young giant. "You think T 
can't put you over the counter, do you?" asked Stover. "I 
know you can't," said the young man. Without another 
word Stover stepped up to the young fellow, took him by 
one leg and an arm, and while he was squirming and wrig- 
gling in vain endeavor to loosen the vise-like grasp ot 
Stover, he was easily set down on the inside of the counter 
and then lifted back again, about as readily as a ordinary 
person would handle a child. 


While the public improvements were being prosecuted 
between Salem and the Ohio Falls, there were some power- 
ful men engaged in work from time to time, and almost 
every day some sort of strength test would come off. A 
fellow named Short proved to be the giant of an the gangs 
and he was frequently complimented on his great size and 

446 Washington County Giants 

muscular powers. To such praise he would always reply, 
"Why, boys, there is a race of giants up in Washington 
county and I being the runt and unable to take my own part, 
was obliged to come down here as a matter of self-preserva- 
tion." One day, while all hands were busy, Short saw 
Stover coming down the road with a four-horse team of 
produce for the market. He said to his fellows, "Now, here 
comes one of those giants I was telling you about," and he 
went out and greeted the colonel heartily. 

Stover was then introduced to the boss of the gang, 
when work was suspended and all adjourned to a nearby 
grocery. The saloon keeper was a practical pugilist and 
had heard of Colonel Stover, but after sizing him up, 
remarked, "Short, if your man is a mountain I can lick him." 
And without further warning squared himself for a fight. 
Stover said he had not come there for trouble and instead 
of dealing the fellow a blow with his ponderous fist, he 
lutched him by the wrist, pulled him forward, took hold of 
his shoulder with the other hand and was about to twist his 
opponent's arm out of its socket, when the doughty chap 
bellowed for mercy. Stover let him go, saying, "That's how 
I could break your arm as easy as I could a chicken's leg." 
The fellow then set up the drinks to the crowd and told 
Stover he was his guest for a week. On his way back home 
the colonel was halted and treated like a lord. He boxed 
with two at a time, lifting weights and performed many 
feats of strength that were remarkable, making him the 
hero of the day. 

There never was a muster in the whole country round 
that Stover did not attend. He was promoted finally to be 
colonel of a regiment of the militia and in the fall of 1825 
was appointed brigadier-general pro tempore. His aid was 

Washington County Giants 447 

Capt. John Duckworth, a man no less portly and good 
looking than himself. In gaudy parade costume and impos- 
ing equipage and mounted on fiery steeds these men rode 
before the regiment. Colonel Stover made a speech and 
then, with his staff officers, retired amid the plaudits of the 
admiring throng. Colonel Stover lived on a farm, located 
about four miles southeast of Salem, on the Greenville road. 
He lived to the advanced age of eighty-seven years, his 
death occurring on April 6, 1875. He came to the county 
from Virginia in 1815. 

VOL.7 Na8 




(Mrs. Oren S. Hack) 
Author of "The Yoke;' "Daybreak;' etc. 





In order to preserve peace between nations, Pope Alexan- 
der VI in 1494 apportioned the State of Indiana and other 
territory to Spain. At that hour the wonderful North Amer- 
ican contintent lay behind the veil as yet unlifted. As far as 
Portugal or Castile and Leon were informed the welter of the 
grey Atlantic extended unbroken north of Cuba to the Pole. 
Inasmuch, however, as an Italian adventurer had brought 
forth a marvel from the west, the Kings of these European 
countries were prepared for any surprise from the unknown 
and they went to the arbiter of national disagreements to as- 
sign to each what should be his when it was discovered. 

The Line of Demarcation was drawn from Pole to Pole at 
370 leagues to be measured in degrees or by another manner 
from the islands of Cape Verde to the west. Anything to be 
discovered or already discovered that lay east, north or south 
of this line was to belong to the King of Portugal and what- 
ever was west, north or south of this line was to belong to 
Spain. Should one or the other nation discover lands within 
the preserves of the other he was peaceably to relinquish such 
lands to that party in whose domain such discoveries were 
made. It was a beautiful arrangement and was cheerfully 
ignored as many beautiful national arrangements have always 

The blue-eyed Briton and the black-eyed Frenchman 
swarmed over the soil of North America planting flags and 
firing commemorative lombard shots which signalized pos- 
session as if the venerable Spaniard in the Vatican had not 


The Science of Columbus 451 

spoken. For that reason Indiana only belonged to Spain in 
an unreal way. In that much the title of Indiana to the people 
of the commonwealth is clouded. Spain, however, had failed 
to deliver to Christopher Columbus the value of his portion of 
the territory he had discovered, according to contract, and her 
title, also, is not immaculate. When the matter is traced to the 
source the original title lies between that Italian sailor and a 
copper-skinned race whose seed was planted here by the winds 
that scattered mankind over the earth when Time was young. 

When Ferdinand and Isabella entered into a contract with 
Christopher Columbus by which he was to set forth on a voy- 
age of discovery, they caused John de Coloma to write in La 
Capitulacion that ; 

"Per quanto vos, Christoval Colon vades por nuestro man- 
dado a descobrir e ganar con ciertas fustas neustras a con 
neustras gentes ciertas ylas e terra firme enla mar oceana, — " 

(Forasmuch as you, Christopher Columbus are going by 
our command with some of our ships and with our subjects to 
discover and acquire certain islands and mainlands in the 
ocean — ,") 

they expected to make certain concessions to the Italian for 
his services. 

In these terms they set down plainly what they expected 
Columbus to discover upon representations made to them by 
the Italian sailor. The preamble of the Capitulation consisted 
of an extensive religious discussion with which most of the 
state documents of this royal pair opened, but the several 
clauses of the contract dealing directly with the expedition 
consisted of a straightforward bargain between an adventurer 
and a pair of acquisitive princes who had territory and in- 
creased revenues in mind. 

452 The Science of Columbus 

Columbus had put forward arguments and inducements as 
many and diverse as the number and kind of people before 
whom he had laid his scheme. He had held out the rescue of 
the Holy Sepulchre and the financing of a great Crusade* to 
the religious ; he had told of spices and gems and merchandise 
to the commercial minded; of the Grand Khan and Prester 
John to the conquistador ; of a round world to the scientist. 
But in signing a contract he would bind himself to the most 
feasible task. He did not engage to prove the world was 
round, to find gold, gems or spices or to deliver the gorgeous 
Asiatic cities of Zaiton and Quinsay to his royal patrons. He 
bound himself by a legal instrument to deliver a landfall and 
nothing else. It indicates that he was sure of islands and 
mainlands in the ocean-sea. In the light of his positive as- 
surance, it is interesting to examine Columbus upon the scope 
of his knowledge and the reach of his surmises. 

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1446 (circa). 
His parents were Domineco and Susanna, weavers, who 
owned two houses in Genoa at one time and at another had a 
mortgage foreclosed upon them. He had brothers and at least 
one sister. Weavers of doubtful fortune with a family in 
1446 could hardly educate a child. Ferdinand Columbus, nat- 
ural and most admirable son of the Discoverer, declares that 
his father attended the University of Pavia. 

"I say, therefore," he writes in his "Historie" "that in his 
youth he learned letters and studied in Pavia enough to under- 
stand Cosmography, the teachings of which science greatly 

*Las Casas; Historia. From the Journal of the Admiral, First 
Voyage, under the date of December 26, 1402. 

The Science of Columbus 453 

delighted him; and on account of which he studied Astrol- 
ogy* and Geometry since these sciences are so related to each 
other that one cannot be understood without the other and also 
because Ptolemy in the beginning of his Cosmography says 
that no one can be a good cosmographer if he is not also a 
good painter." 

Columbus makes a claim to education in a letter written to 
the monarchs of Spain, 

"In quefto tempo io ho veduto, & meffo ftudio in vedere 
tutti i libri di Cofmografia, d'Hiftoria, & di Filofolfia, & 
d'altre fcientie." 

("In this time I saw and studied diligently all the books of 
cosmography, of history and of Philosophy and of other 

*Frequently in the Admiral's writings he confirms this claim to a 
knowledge of Astrology as astronomy was called in the fifteenth cen- 
tury. For example on Sunday, January 13, 1493, he records the fol- 
lowing, transcribed in the Historia of Las Casas : 

"He (the Admiral) would have liked to have gone out of the har- 
bor, adverse winds preventing, in order to go to a better harbor be- 
cause that harbor was somewhat exposed and because he wished to 
observe the conjunction of the moon with the sun, which he expected 
to take place the 17th of this month and the opposition of the moon 
with Jupiter and conjunction with Mercury and the sun in opposition 
with Jupiter which is the cause of great winds." 

It is worth noting that the Journal beginning with the 17th de- 
tails a comparative calm for six days. 

On Monday, January 21, he writes : 

"He found the winds cooler and he expected, he says, to find them 
more so each day the more he went to the north and also because the 
nights were longer on account of the narrowing of the sphere." He 
is explaining here the diminishing length of the degrees, from the 
equator to the pole. 

These are not the words of a man merely guessing that the world 
is round. 

On his second voyage he attributes the daily shower on Jamaica in 
July to the dense groves fringing the islands, a scientific explanation 
three or four centuries in advance of the times. 

454 The Science of Columbus 

If Ferdinand Columbus' statements are to be credited, the 
Discoverer was a student of cosmography, geometry, astrol- 
ogy, philosophy, history and other sciences before he was 
fourteen years old, at which time Columbus declares he went 
to sea.* 

The knowledge that made him the foremost explorer of all 
time and one of the world's greatest scientists bears too little 
of the academic imprint and too much of a self-acquired educa- 
tion to substantiate his son's claim. He began work as a 
weaver. During his years before the loom he might have as- 
sociated with some retired instructor of the University. His 
biography is bright with friendships among the educated men 
of the time. Every sign points to an education from associa- 
tion rather than from instruction. When his idea of a voyage 
to the East by the West entered his mind cannot be determined. 
Perhaps it grew as he read and his reading was of the order 
to inspire advanced thinking and high aims. Italian was his 
native language and he used it extensively in his correspond- 
ence. He must have known something of Latin. He could 
not have successfully sailed the seas without knowing collo- 
quial Portuguese. He knew Spanish and adopted it as his 
most familiar tongue. He mentions Ahmed-Ben-Kothair, the 
Arabic astronomer, and again Rabbi Samuel de Israel, Wol- 
fridus Strabo, the German, and Gerson of the University of 
Paris. It is improbable that he was acquainted with their 
writings in the original. He had numerous friends among 
monks and these may have furnished a medium through which 
he met these writers. 

*"I commenced to navigate at fourteen years and I have always 
followed the sea." Ferdinand Columbus, "Historic" 

The Science of Columbus 455 

It is not too much to conclude that Columbus was better 
educated at forty than he was at twenty-five ; that an absorp- 
tive mind, association with men of all nations and all ranks, 
travel and reading gave him learning more and more each 
year, sound, serviceable, broad, better than a mediaeval uni- 
versity could have afforded him in a whole course, much less 
a few months snatched under the age of fourteen. 

He spent twenty-six years on the sea before he went to the 
court of Spain with his project of a westward route to India. 
He claimed to have visited Frisland and Iceland* ; he was 
bound to have known the islands of the Mediterranean and he 
had hugged the African coast as far as San Jorge de Mina. 
The sea was his highway. Familiarity with the wandering 
face of the waters begot in him understanding and confidence 
in it. He was unconsciously equipping himself with the trade 
previous believers in a round world lacked. He became a nav- 
igator. Toscanelli, Aristotle or Thales might have believed 
the earth a globe and believed it for reasons grounded in sci- 
ence but they could not handle a tiller nor hoist a sail. 

Sometime in his young manhood while he lived in Portugal 
he married Phillipa Moniz, daughter of Pietro Moniz de Pe- 
restrello, governor of the island of Porto Santo. According 
to Ferdinand Columbus the mother-in-law presented to the 
Italian his father-in-law's collection of charts, maps and logs 
such as a sea-captain, a small explorer and the governor of an 

*"I navigated in 1477 in the month of February 100 leagues beyond 
the island of Thule," he says in a letter quoted by Ferdinand in his 
Historic to which Ferdinand adds: "and this by moderns is called 

*"I was at the fortress of St. George of the Mine belonging to the 
King of Portugal, which lies below the equinoctial lme. Ferdinand 
Columbus. "Historic" 

456 The Science of Columbus 

insular province might gather together in a life-time. It is 
natural to suppose that Columbus spent his leisure hours por- 
ing over the many diverse drawings of the same territory as 
well as the fanciful sketches of land that existed only in the 
marvelous tales of travelers. 

Maps of the day were famous for their difference from 
each other. There were maps of a square world, of an oval 
world (Genoese map of 1457), of an apple-shaped world 
(map of Beatus, 776), a world like a Chines plate (map il- 
lustrating Sallust's Bellum jugurtinum, nth century), even 
maps of a globed world drawn with continents not to be iden- 
tified with land-masses on the face of the earth. (Hereford 
Map of 1280. See Article Maps, Ency. Brit.) Out of this 
miscellany Columbus obtained an education in cosmography ; 
out of it he evolved enough facts to shape a world for himself, 
a round world that was as beneficent to mankind and as capa- 
ble of exploration as that already known. 

A globed world was mapped at a time as remote as 150 
B. C. upon a theory conceived seven centuries earlier. Colum- 
bus was the heir to the belief in a sphere. If he was not a 
pioneer in the theory, he crystallized the vague surmises of 
the time and had the courage and the talent to establish his 

While he was in Portugal poring over maps and shaping 
his views of a round world and a voyage to the East by the 
West, there is evidence that he opened correspondence with 
the Florentine savant, Paola Toscanelli. Several letters de- 
clared to have been written by the scientist of Florence are 
preserved as proof that one of the greatest thinkers of the time 
inspired and urged Columbus to attempt the expedition to 
India by the West. 

The Science of Columbus 457 

Over the alleged correspondence between the two author- 
ities have waged a fierce controversy for four centuries. Co- 
lumbus lived in an age of sham. Forgery was cheerfully in- 
dulged in whenever authentic evidence was insufficient to 
prove the point. The great Genoese might have corresponded 
with Toscanelli and he might not. It is not material. The 
first paragraph of Toscanelli's first letter shows that Colum- 
bus had suggested his project to the scientist. 

"I see your great and magnificent desire to go where the 
spices grow." 

The Discoverer shaped his course as often at variance with 
Toscanelli's theories as in line with them. Columbus was no 
mere creature of any man's. The fight he made for himself 
at the very beginning and carried on to the close of his life 
was based upon a determination to be recognized as the one 
who had originated the idea, and carried through the labor, 
of proving the world a globe.* 

In Portugal he received no encouragement. Addressing 
the Spanish sovereigns, he bitterly charged the Portuguese 
King with stupidity. 

*There is a persistent tradition told of Columbus while living in 
Portugal, that a pilot and three or four seamen, remnant of a crew of 
a merchantman which had been driven by a storm into the far West. 
were received in the house of Columbus on their return and there died 
soon after of their mortal experiences. The story goes that the pilot 
left his log and chart with Columbus, who preempted the information 
and material furnished him by the dead navigator and sailed upon the 
chart straightaway to the islands which the pilot had found. 

Three contemporaneous writers tell this story. (Two (Las Casas 
and Garcilasso de la Vega, the Inca) accept it without seeing the 
shadow cast upon the Admiral. The third (Oviedo) who knew Colum- 
bus and was better able to decide, dismisses it bluntly as fiction. 

Later writers reject it with a deal more feeling and resentment 
than the value of the story warrants. 

458 The Science of Columbus 

"He put to shame his sight, hearing and all his faculties 
for in fourteen years I could not make him understand what 
I said." 

At another time he assures the princes of Spain that : 

"I listened neither to France nor England nor Portugal, 
the letters of whose sovereigns your Highnesses saw by the 
hand of Doctor Villalo." 

No such important letters are preserved or even recorded 
in the voluminous history of the Genoese. The main import 
of this reference is to prove that the expedition to the East by 
the West was an idea old in the mind of the Genoese when he 
presented himself to them in 1485. 

Arriving in Spain after the Moorish campaign was well 
in its third year, he was put off until a more propitious hour. 
By that time his conception of a round world and a way to 
the East by the West had crowded all other projects from his 
mind. He was consumed with a desire to prove his conten- 
tion and none other. If he had acquired a competence, it had 
long since been used in support of a family while he spent 
fourteen years pleading with an uncomprehending court in 
Portugal. He had reached that exalted state of determination 
where hunger, cold and exposure amount to nothing so long 
as an aim may be held true. 

In want dire enough to move to compassion, a fifteenth 
century monk accustomed to mediaeval misery, he was intro- 
duced to the queen by her former confessor and consigned by 
her to the care of that gentle, kindly, generous knight and 
royal auditor, Don Alonso de Quintanilla. Thereafter he was 
entertained here and there over Spain* among friars and 

*In contrast to Quintanilla's generous treatment of the Genoese 
without hope or expectation of pay, the letter of the Duque de Medina 
Celi to the Grand Cardinal of Spain, immediately after the return of 

The Science of Columbus 459 

grandees but the only times when the Discoverer felt want 
were when he was away from the cordial roof of the noble 

When he was finally permitted to present his scheme to the 
monarchs he offered to the religious nature of the Queen a 
chance to spread the gospel, to the King territory, to the con- 
quistadores, gold. Upon these inducements he won a tentative 
hearing before a council at the University of Salamanca. The 
importance of this council has been reduced by the research of 
historians. It is generally accepted as an unofficial affair and 
its decision was merely a difference of opinion between an ad- 
vanced thinker and a body of monks or students or members 
of a faculty, informally convened. That there was a reference 
of the Discoverer's scheme to a royally appointed council 
about the year 1491, is incontestable. That the state of the 
war with Granada precluded support to the expedition is 
known to have been the verdict of that junta. Before the as- 
sembled mob of student monks and faculty in Salamanca and 
before the junta composed of the Grand Cardinal of Spain, 
Fray Diego de Deza, Alonso de Cardenas, the Prior of Prado, 
Juan de Cabrera and Alessandro Geraldini, the Italian Am- 
bassador, Columbus laid his theories. Ferdinand Columbus 
declares that he did not reveal his plans in their entirety lest 

Columbus from his first voyage is entertaining. The following is an 
extract : 

"It may be eight months since he (Columbus) started and now on 
his return he has come to Lisbon and has found all that he sought for 
and very fully. As soon as I learned of this and to make known such 
good news to Her Highness I wrote her about it by Xuares and I sent 
him to beg that she would show me favour and allow me to send some 
of my caravels there each year. I beg your Lordship to kindly aid me 
in the matter and I entreat it of you on my part since it was through 
me and by my keeping him in my house" for two years and directing 
him to the service of her Highness that he has accomplished so great 
a thing." 

460 The Science of Columbus 

they should be pre-empted and used without his participation. 
His caution along a similar line throughout his Journal very 
nearly bears out this statement. However, his later arguments 
before the monarchs in the presence of many of the same per- 
sons were full and all-persuasive. 

The conventional belief in the shape of the world, its boun- 
daries and its nature was simple and Scriptural. Whatever 
the scientist thought, the common people and the clergy be- 
lieved the earth to be flat ; that it was bounded upon its outer 
borders by an ocean that faded away into a mysterious gloom 
at the edge of things. It was believed to be separate and apart 
from the heavenly bodies. The sun was believed to revolve 
around it. Fantastic theories were offered to account for the 
support of the earth-plane. 

The one believed the most rational provided a series of im- 
mense columns among whose labyrinthine gloom the sun 
threaded its way as it passed under the earth to rise again in 
the east after setting in the west. These columns rested on 
anything or nothing. At that point invention seemed to grow 

The Scriptures defined the geography of the plane. It had 
four corners and the land comprised six parts of the seven of 
its surface.* Upon these claims theologians issued pamphlets 

*II Esdras 4:42. 

1. Writing of the junta in his Christopher Columbus, John Boyd 
Thatcher says : "Alessandro Geraldini leaned over to the Most Rev. 
erend Cardinal of Spain, Gonzales de Mendoza and whispered that to 
his mind the geographical knowledge of the fathers of the Church had 
been somewhat modified and enlarged since in these days the Portu- 
guese navigators had been on a point in another hemisphere where the 
North Star no longer appeared in the heavens and where the pilot's eye 
was fixed on another Star and another Pole." 

Columbus was never in great danger of the Inquisition through 
high churchmen, who at that date had begun to look upon the fathers 
of the church as very good saints but indifferent scientists. 

The Science of Columbus 


against heresies. Commentaries by numerous saints were 
their ammunition. 1 Science plays little or no part in their 
arguments. Reason they used freely without knowing that the 
simple derivations of reason do not always come up from the 
deeps of facts. They said that men could not inhabit the other 
side of the earth because they could not cling head downward 
to the ground. Oceans would pour away on the under side 
of the world. Christ had come to all men. If men inhabited 
the Antipodes they would have been slighted. Sea-faring mei: 
added to these scriptural arguments, stories of demons, and 
monsters, and natural barriers in the shape of whirlpools and 
magnetic islands that would draw out the nails of ships ; seas 
of sedge and breathless areas of calm. Some declared that the 
sky failed at certain points and nothing overarched the waters 
at the uttermost limits. 

Against these venerable fallacies Columbus had to array 
new and unique and often perilous argument. He could show 
the layman the familiar spectacle of a ship approaching a 
quay, visible first at mast-top, then sails, then deck and finally 
keel as proof of a world that curved. He could offer the 
fairly well substantiated tale of the two drowned savages that 
came ashore at Flores ; he could tell of the great canes and of 
the bar of wood, wrought, but not with iron that were cast up 
on the Canaries. To the scientist he could offer deeper argu- 
ment. He knew the whereabouts of the sun for sixteen hours 
and because he did not know the rate of the planet's revolu- 
tion nor indeed that it revolved at all he believed that the sun 
spent the other eight hours over an unknown extent of ocean 
about one-third its actual size. Several times, he calculated 
differences in time between an eclipse of the moon occurring 
in the western hemisphere with that of the eastern time to bear 

462 The Science of Columbus 

out his belief in the size of the earth at her girth. He did not 
know at the tiiue he was appealing for funds to make his ex- 
pedition, that the earth was larger. Whether he ever modified 
his dimensions of the globe will be discussed later on. 

"The world is small." he wrote the Sovereigns in the 
"Lettera Rarissima" after his return from the fourth voyage. 
"That which is dry, that is to say tin- land, is six parts. The 
seventh only is Covered with water.... I say that the world 

is not as large as commonly asserted." 

Toscanelli almost exactly estimated the size of the globe.* 
This computation Columbus refused to accept Copernicus 

had not yet pronounced his splendid heresy. Newton had not 
yet lived. Ptolemy's declaration that the earth could not move 
at great speed without developing tremendous gales from the 

east had long since effectively done away with the tolerably cor- 
rect theory of the earth's revolution advanced some six cen- 
turies earlier. With the idea of a stationary world upon which to 
earlier. With the idea of a stationary world upon which to 
base his computations, the dimensions Columbus obtained for 
the globe were logical. That he should fail entirely of a cor- 
rect estimate of the proportions of land and water should be 
ascribed to his fidelity to the Scriptures. 

At the beginning- he overestimated the size of Asia. He 
believed that the opposite sides of the Kurasiatic continent 
approached each other with a water area of a greater or lesser 
extent between them. Whether this attempt to harmonize 
Scripture and science kept him in ignorance of the true dimen- 
sions of his globe until the day of his death is a matter of 

*Toscanelli's figures are 24,969 English miles. M. Faye's meas- 
urement in 1904 amounted to 24,860 English miles. 

The Science of Columbus 463 

With such matter as would appeal to the minds of those 
who demand concrete evidence, and with such figures as 
would arrest the attention of those who deal with unsolved 
mysteries by mathematics, he approached his Sovereigns and 
their councils and juntas, unofficial and official with intense 

Spain was at war with the Moors throughout all this time. 
The Royal Treasury experienced a perennial deficit with a 
stubborn foe contesting every inch of the Spanish advance. 
New lands had no charms for a royal pair fighting for their 
own fief. Expensive adventure could not be undertaken when 
every maravedi was needed for munitions and mercenaries. 
In Columbus' usual passionate manner he charges that he was 
merely laughed at for seven years.* But his petition was 
granted within ninety days after the surrender of Granada. 

It is evidence pointing to the sanity and charity of the 
Queen that the monarchs did not hold him in La Capitulation 
to the fabulous acquisitions he so often pictured in his argu- 
ments. Columbus was excitable and incoherent in many of 
his writings, given to exaggeration, but he lived under tre- 
mendous pressure a great part of his life and his utterances 
must be judged by the extremity of his wishfulness and 

It is not unfair to the Discoverer to declare that his inter- 
ests were also centered in the profits of the expedition, but his 
ultimate aim as a Crusader gives sufficient cause for a desire 
to have funds to prosecute the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre. 

♦"Seven years did I remain in the Court of Your Majesties when 
those to whom I spoke of this enterprise declared with one voice that 
it was chimerical and foolish." Lettera Ranssima. 

464 The Science of Columbus 

The crown having supplied him with a meagre amount for 
the expedition he sailed from Palos, August 3, 1492, with a 
fleet of three vessels, not one of which would have been under- 
written by any modern maritime insurance company. 

The voyage outward was peculiarly propitious. The ap- 
pearance of the volcano on Teneriffe at the beginning of the 
journey and the passage of a remarkable meteor alarmed the 
crew and restlessness was noted two or three days before the 
landfall, but aside from these slight disturbances the journey 
was serene to the point of monotony. That Columbus chose 
the month of August in which to sail points to an assumption 
that he did not expect to cross a great expanse of ocean with 
equinoctial storms only six or seven weeks away. 

When he sailed from Palos, he took with him Toscanelli's 
map which provided for a straightaway sail from Lisbon, but 
he dropped ten degrees southward on a course of his own. 
Every map that Columbus had seen, every storm tossed mar- 
iner that had won home from the jaws of the west had filled 
the mid-Atlantic with islands of more or less marvelous char- 
acter. He stubbornly refused to search for these imaginary 
groups upon encountering vegetation adrift in spite of the 
loud and boisterous appeals of the brothers Pinzon, pilots of 
the Pinta and the Nina. 

When he refused to beat about in search of these islands he 
was acting upon his own knowledge that insular masses are 
the final utterance of the continent. He was sure that Cipango 
(Japan), lying east of Asia, was an island. With the exception 
of keys and perhaps a string of archipelagoes, Cipango would 
be the first dry land to be encountered before raising the Asi- 
atic mainland. His sail had been all too short to reach that, 

The Science of Columbus 465 

Under the thirteenth of September after leaving Palos he- 
entered in his Journal the following: 

"On this day at the beginning of night the needles declined 
a trifle to the northwest and in the morning they declined a 

Had nothing more than this fact come of the expedition, it 
would have been more than worth all of the efforts of the 
Discoverer to make the voyage. It was ocular proof that the 
world was round. It was well known that the needle deflected 
east of north in European waters. Had the explorer been ex- 
pecting the needle to deflect west of north as soon as the line 
of no variation was passed, he would have made an hourly 
examination of the compass when the declination became less' 
apparent. There is no previous evidence in any of his writ- 
ings or his verbal arguments to show that he expected this 
variation. The occurrence promptly explained itself to him. 
It was no surprise; it was merely unlooked-for evidence that 
proved his contention. After that day he went forward with 
the unalterable determination rising upon a belief confirmed. 
In that hour he assumed his place as the greatest scientist of 
the times. What occurred afterwards was the fortune of an 

On the night of October 11, he encountered one of those 
spectacular tempests peculiar to the region of the Antilles. 
While the crews were still wrestling with their feeble craft in 
the wallow of appalling seas, some anxious squaw on Watling's 
Island showed a light to guide her fisherman brave into port 
and the Admiral of the Ocean-sea and Vice-Roy of all the 
Indies was lighted into a New World by it. 

When he landed on the following morning, he was so sure 

466 The Science of Columbus 

that he had reached one of the outpost insular masses of Asia 
that he gave the aborigines their permanent misnomer.* 

He knew that he had discovered another race. He was 
sufficiently acquainted with enough representatives of man- 
kind to separate them at once from the white, the Malay and 
the negro. He who knew all the kinds of man that can accu- 
mulate at a port was aware that none of these hawk-nosed 
horse-haired, copper-skinned folk had mingled with the rest 
of the world upon any man-built quay. So he called them 
Indians as the only other race that might be. 

At this stage of the Discoverer's life began a debate with 
himself that he probably decided before he was done voyaging 
over the waste of water and breaking through the wilderness 
of land in the New World. It is mournfully told by historians 
of a type that Columbus died without knowing that he had not 
discovered India. A little closer study of events will call that 
statement into question. 

With his belief in a round world confirmed, with the islands 
of the ocean-sea discovered and acquired as stipulated in his 
contract, he pressed on confident that his road to India was 
now open. The next day he proposed to set sail and "go and 
see if I can encounter the island of Cipango." 

The Indians told him of Cuba and their information plus 
his world-old tradition of Cipango led him a twelve-weeks' 
search through the Antilles. By the first of November he be- 
gan to waver. He was at that time in Cuba. Under that date 

*Under October 15 of his Journal he makes the first use of the 
word " — and I afterwards watched the shore at the time of the landing 
of the other Indian to whom I had given the aforesaid things and from 
whom I did not take the ball of cotton although he wished to give it to 
me." Las Casas. 

The Science of Columbus 467 

he declared he is upon mainland "within a hundred leagues of 
the marvelous cities of Quinsay and Zaiton."* But men he 
had sent into the interior to inquire, returned two days later 
with the information that there were no great or rich cities 
and he set sail then for the southeast where he had been told 
lay the country rich in gold, gems and spices. 

J. B. Thatcher in his work on Columbus says : "At first, 
on his first voyage and on his second voyage, he doubtless ex- 
pected to find if not the Great Khan himself at least the outer 
door of his dwelling but after that, we believe the truth 
dawned on him, a suspicion positively confirmed on his fourth 
voyage when on the coast of Veragua he was told that across 
the land to the west lay another body of water, another ocean 
and that the western coast of the land, the continental land 
bore the same relation to the eastern coast where he was then 
as Fuenterrabia in the Atlantic Ocean bore to Tarragona in 
the Mediterranean Sea." 

Much that is contradictory in the narrative of Columbus 
must be laid to his situation, the times and his temperament. 
His Journal was written expressly for the eyes of the Sov- 
ereigns. He had offered India and its wealth, religious field 
and alliance to them in his argument. Its discovery was to 
stand as his proof that the world was round. It was the most 
tempting prize of the expedition. To abandon hope of it 
would seriously depreciate his gains. 

Is it not possible to believe that he continued to search for 


468 The Science of Columbus 

India long after he was sure that he had not reached it ? Time 
and again throughout the Journal of his first voyage* he of- 
fers much forced and untenable encouragement to the Sov- 
ereigns. Often he quotes absolute dissipation of hope by in- 
serting information given him by natives. Columbus may have 
been a stubborn man, preferring to believe as he pleased, but 
his intelligence was vast. It would be a slander on his mental 
faculties to believe that a navigator of his experience could 
coast for years along shores, lifeless, wild, jungle-clad, in the 
expectation of momently raising a civilization as old as Time, 
among people still in the Stone Age. 

Whether or not he began at this time to feel doubts about 
his India he directed his search painstakingly for gold** and 

*For instance after dealing strictly with childish savages, accept- 
ing shelter in straw huts and presenting garments to a King who had 
never seen clothing he says under the date of January 4, 1493, that "he 
concludes that Cipango was on that island." He refused at first to 
believe that the Caribs were cannibals and declared that they were 
subjects of the Great Khan. Before he left the Indies he surrendered 
the idea. He found evidence to confirm his beliet and rejected all of 
it before he returned to Castile. In his Folio Letter to Luis de San- 
tangel he mentions the Grand Khan once, but the vastness of the 
people's simplicity and the total absence of any civilization in many 
and emphatic words. 

*"Gold was collected by undermining the bank of a stream. At 
first after the bank falls, the water bubbles up and flows away in a 
turbid condition but soon having recovered its natural clearness the 
grains of gold which are heavier than the earth in which they are 
imbedded and settle to the bottom, are clearly displayed to view." 

Syllacio-Coma Letter, explaining Indian placer mining. 

The Science of Columbus 469 

spices among the islands that he had found. He knew that he 
must return to Spain and he felt that a mere cluster of islands 
inhabited by savages was not reward enough for the liberality 
of the Spanish monarchs. He must produce revenue enough 
to justify his expedition. The opportunity of a buccaneer 
never occurred to him. It occurred to others. In his letter to 
the nurse of Prince Juan he denies a charge made against him 
of attempting to barter the Indies. He might easily have 
larcenized his discovery and failing to return, dropped the 
curtain on the New World and the round world until some 
century far in the future. 

He collected mined and fashioned gold. He knew free 
gold or gold in the nugget but there is doubt whether he knew 
gold-bearing quartz. An assayer, sent with the second expe- 
dition, was able to cast doubts upon the quality of nuggets 
found by Columbus himself. He did not know spices in the 
growing state. Under the date October 23, 1492, of his Jour- 
nal he states : "And as I must go where great trade may be 
had, I say that it is not reasonable to delay but to pursue my 
journey and discover much land until I encounter a very prof- 
itable country although my understanding is that this one is 
very well provided with spices ; but / do not know them, which 
causes me the greatest trouble in the world." 

Again under October 21, he expresses his alarm at his igno- 
rance. Sunday, December 30, one of the Pinzons reported 
that he had found rhubarb, which the Admiral believed. But 
his description of the plant proved that he was in error. 
Rhubarb was known in Europe only in the powdered form, 
used as a medicine. He knew aloes and he recognized cinna- 
mon, but he confesses that he knew these spices only. He 
carried with him peppercorns and cinnamon bark, which he 

470 The Science of Columbus 

showed to the Indians when in search of spices. It was only 
on his second voyage when Dr. Chanca, the queen's physician, 
accompanied him that he was able to identify spices as they 
were found. 

With enough samples of gold, spices and Indians to prove 
that he had raised "a very profitable country" he returned 
with all speed to Spain. His rise to greatness was instant. 
Few successful adventurers have been as warmly applauded 
and as royally rewarded as was this Italian sailor, returning 
with a new world for his sovereigns. The Grand Khan and 
the gorgeous cities of Zaiton and Quinsay fell into insignifi- 
cance before the chance of conquest and adventure in the esti- 
mation of the conquistadores. His second expedition had im- 
mediately a waiting list, not of broken men and convicts and 
ruffians, but gold-laced and belted knights and lords conscious 
of their social superiority to the Admiral of the Ocean-sea. 

Columbus at the pinnacle of his greatness, was vested with 
powers that were to undo him. It is safe enough to clothe a 
scientist with a title and allow him an income but to rest in 
him the duties of an executive may place him without his 
limitations. It was so in the case of Columbus. 

The second voyage was one of gold-seeking, ruling and 
construction which inspires avarice, envy and resistance. He 
was unfortunate in his association with the average fifteenth 
century man. He had all that self-centered tedium of manner, 
all that sensitiveness and solemnity that afflict men with an 
urge ; he was not always a pleasant companion nor always an 
admirable figure. Temperamental, almost paranostel, he was 
nothing different from any man ancient or modern conse- 
crated to a single purpose and knowing himself solely selected 

The Science of Columbus 4 ;i 

On his second visit to the Indies he built the city of Isabella 
on the island of Espanola or Haiti. With a mind to the char- 
acter of the age, he selected the site not for its agricultural 
adaptability or for maritime trade but for its proximity to the 
gold field. It was low and marshy and its soil was thin. 
Whether he failed to understand these faults or merely ignored 
them is not settled. At any rate as a city builder he was more 
energetic than wise and the colony suffered. In the de Torres 
Memorandum he urges Antonio de Torres to make it plain to 
the Sovereigns the beauty and inviting features of the spot 
chosen, which would imply that the Admiral wished to impress 
upon them that he had been deceived by appearances. 

The construction of his city nearing completion, he gath- 
ered a troop of Spanish soldiery together and marched into the 
interior of Espanola. Finding the native paths too narrow for 
his army, the purpose of which was to impress the natives, he 
set his arquebusiers and belted knights, indiscriminately to 
work clearing roads. This was just, but rash. It marked the 
beginning of the Admiral's troubles. 

Upon that inland journey he discovered the Royal Plain of 
Haiti, whose waters flowed over sands of gold, and penetrated 
Cibao, building the fortress of St. Thomas on the way. Cibao 
was and is still a gold field from which fabulous treasure has 
been taken and in which fabulous treasure remains to this day. 

When he returned to his new city of Isabella he found the 
population prostrate with malaria, conditions of all kinds 
bad, and the public assayer, Fermin Cedo, declaring that the 
gold he had analyzed was merely melted ornaments and al- 
loyed at that. Again the Admiral impressed the leisure class 
and laborers alike, and higher the flame of resentment and 
dissatisfaction grew. 

47 2 The Science of Columbus 

A third incident which added to the Admiral's unpopu- 
larity occurred later while he was coasting down the long, 
long edge of Cuba on a voyage of exploration. He had cov- 
ered more than a thousand miles of it and the end was not yet, 
when he tried to convince himself it was a continent. He sent 
a notary among the crews of his vessels to get the opinion of 
the men and the notary exceeding his authority required of the 
seamen an oath that it was continental land threatening a pen- 
alty if the affidavit were afterward repudiated. Navarrete 
gives the written report of the notary which exonerates the 
Admiral of any part in this high-handed attempt to declare 
land a continent by oath. 

A few days later natives affirmed to Columbus that the 
land was only a long island and the Discoverer returned to 
Isabella still defaulting in the second term of his contract, 

He was not discouraged. Holding fast to the Apochry- 
phal statement of the proportion of land and water, with a sea- 
area already great, he was sure he must find the continent 
soon. In his affectionate regard for the Scriptures he ham- 
pered his own science. Columbus freed from the claims of 
Esdras might have done much that explorers accomplished 
half a century later. 

Opposition to him developing in Castile with the Sover- 
eigns more or less impressed, the Admiral hastened back to 
Spain. He readily convinced the princes of the value of his 
discoveries and he was despatched a third time for the Indies 
in the summer of 1498 to discover and explore. 

His Journal resumes in the words of Las Casas : 

"And he ordered the course laid to the way of the south- 
west which is the route leading from these islands (Canaries) 

The Science of Columbus 473 

to the south in the name, he says, of the Holy and Individual 
Trinity because then he would be on a parallel with the lands 
of the sierra of Loa (Sierra Leone) and the cape of Sancta 
Ana in Guinea which is below the Equinoctial Line where, he 
says, that below* that line of the world are found more gold 
and things of value; and after that he would navigate, the 
Lord pleasing to the west — " 

He took this southerly course for a distinct purpose not 
named in this paragraph but discussed in Spain and Portugal 
with a good deal of interest. There was, as has been seen, per- 
sistent reports of mainland south of the Antilles where much 
gold would be found. The bull by Pope Alexander VI issued 
shortly aftrr Columbus' return in 1493, had laid a line of de- 
marcation in the New World dividing Portuguese possessions 
from those of Spain. It was to quiet the opinion of the King 
of Portugal that continental land south of the Indies belonged 

*Columbus owes this belief to Jaime Ferrer, jeweller and geog- 
rapher, very distinguished for his learning in his times, who wrote to 
the Admiral thus : 

"And for this reason (the Queen having commanded him to 
write to Columbus) and I write my opinion in this matter, and I say 
that within the equinoctial regions there are great and precious things, 
such as fine stones and gold and spices and drugs ; and I can say 
these things in regard to this matter, because of my many conversa- 
tions that I have had in the Levant, in Alcaire and Domas and because 
I am a lapidary and because in those places it always pleased me to 
seek to learn from those who came from yonder, from what clime 
or province they bring the said things ; and the most I could learn 
from many Hindoos and Arabs and Ethiopians is that the greater 
part of valuable things comes from a very hot region where the 
inhabitants are black or tawny and therefore according to my judg- 
ment when your Lordship finds such people an abundance of said 
things will not be lacking; although of all this matter your Lordship 
knows more when sleeping than I do waking. And of everything, 
by means of the Divine aid, your Lordship will give such a good 
accounting that by it, God will be served and the Sovereigns, our 
Lords, will be satisfied." 

474 The Science of Columbus 

to him that the Discoverer moved south in midsummer along 
a line near the Equator. 

Though his course was definitely outlined, he encountered 
such stretches of intense tropical heat that he altered his di- 
rection to the north, but before he had sailed far in that di- 
rection, on the same day, July 14, 1498, he sighted the island 
of Trinidad and possessed it. The following Wednesday while 
replenishing his water supply upon the coast westward, he saw 
a low, blue misty land to the south. He named it "Ysla 
Sancta," a diminutive and intramural name for the giant land 
mass of South America, his continent at last ' 

Five days later a deputized number from his flagship 
landed and took possession of the soil of the mainland as an 
island. But his contract was fulfilled, though he was never 
vouchsafed absolute confirmation other than the conviction of 
his own great mind. 

"Y vuestras Altezas ganaron estas terras tantas qui son 
otro mundo," he says to his Sovereigns in his narrative of the 
Third Voyage. 

"And your Highness will gain these lands which are 

In the same narrative also, 

"Y estoy creido que esta es tierra firme, grandissima, de 
que hasta hoy no se ha sabido." 

"I am of the belief that this is continental land most vast 
and which has not been known up to this time." 

In all his wanderings for six years over land and sea he 
had never encountered a metal weapon, a house of masonry,* 

*On his fourth voyage he saw in the region of the "Catiba river" 
for the first time a "solid edifice" made of stone and plaster which 
the Admiral takes to be a relic of a by-gone age. 

The Science of Columbus 475 

a government higher than the tribe, a piece of money, a writ- 
ten word or a clothed human being. India in point of civiliza- 
tion was rumored to be far superior to contemporaneous Eng- 
land and France ; its refinement was said to be felt as far as 
its name was known. That this great spread 'of island and 
mainland, Adam-innocent, ignorant of all but the simplest 
forms of tribal government should be adjacent to a land abrim 
with ancient and all-pervading civilization was not possible. 
Truth asserted itself. Whether or not thereafter he continued 
to serve his Sovereigns with a hope of an India near-by, 1 the 
intelligence of Christopher Columbus stood up sturdily and 

Meanwhih the enemies of the Admiral had been active in 
Castile, and Bobadilla, a vicious and arrogant politician was 
sent by the Sovereigns to investigate the charges of ineffi- 
ciency brought against the Admiral because of conditions in 
Espanola. On arrival at the new colony Bobadilla placed 
Columbus under arrest and returned him to Spain in chains. 

Historians place the responsibility of this indignity entirely 
upon Bobadilla. An effort was made by the friends of the 
Admiral to remove the irons after Columbus had been placed 
upon shipboard but he refused to allow it. In his dramatic 
manner he insisted on wearing them as a reproach to his ene- 
mies and as an evidence of the ingratitude of men and princes. 

When he obtained a hearing from his Sovereigns he was 
again restored to his status and despatched on his fourth and 
last voyage. He sailed May 9, 1502. 

The purpose of this expedition was to establish Spain's 

1. In the narrative of Diego de Porras it is explicitly charged 
that Columbus took the charts of the region from the sailors who 
made them. It is evident that he did not wish the Sovereigns to 
arrive at conclusions of their own about his India. 

476 The Science of Columbus 

right to South America and to settle new lands. The Admiral 
was given four ships and dependable crews and told to remain 
away from Espanola. 

Circumstances, however, brought him to the new colony 
and Bobadilla would not permit him to land. Twenty-eight 
ships under Bobadilla were lying in the roadstead ready to de- 
part for Castile with accumulated treasure. Signs of a storm 
of characteristic West Indian severity were prevalent and Co- 
lumbus sent a messenger warning the commander of the fleet 
of the danger and urged him not to weigh anchor. His advice 
was not heeded and his prophecy was ridiculed. Columbus 
sought shelter in a snug harbor and made all things safe. The 
fleet of twenty-eight treasure-laden ships with Bobadilla set 
sail. In a few hours the storm developed and every vessel 
with every soul on board including Bobadilla was lost. Co- 
lumbus and his ships escaped without harm. 

So far as the Discoverer was concerned it was an occur- 
rence not without a fortunate aspect. Had Bobadilla reached 
Spain he would have reopened the prosecution of the Admiral, 
and, Isabella's death occurring shortly, the Admiral would 
have had no friend at court. 

Upon this voyage, Columbus was to learn that truth which 
was to unseat the final deception he entertained of his globe 
and its dimensions. 

He was once more upon the mainland, this time upon the 
Isthmus of Panama among Indians at the mouth of the Vera- 
gua river. He was told that he was within nine days' journey 
by land to another sea that washed the western slope of the 

Las Casas commenting on the Admiral's Journal says: 

"Item: The sea surrounds Ciguare which ought to be 

The Science of Columbus 477 

some city or province of the dominion belonging to the Grand 
Khan and ten days' journey from there was the river Ganges, 
and as one of the provinces which the Indians indicated"' as' 
rich in gold was the province of Veragua, the Admiral be- 
lieved that those countries were situated in relation to Veragua 
as Tortosa is to Fuenterarabia as if he understood that one 
was on one sea and the other on another. Thus it appears 
that the Admiral imagined that there was another sea which 
we now call the South Sea and in this he was not deceived, al- 
though he was in all other things." 

The Admiral's own words are, translated : 
"They say, ; loreover, that the sea boils* in the said prov- 
ince of Ciguare and that from there it is ten days' journey to 
the river Ganges. It seems that these lands stand in relation- 
ship to Beragua as Tortosa stands in relationship with Fuen- 
terrabia or as Pisa with Venice." 

The reader consulting maps of Spain and northern Italy 
and of Panama will be struck with the soundness of the Ad- 
miral's comparisons. 

This statement of the Indians quoted and illustrated by the 
Admiral evidently did not reach cartographers of the next 
score of years, or failed to impress them if it did. Maps until 
1520 allowed only for a strait between the South American 
land body and the Asiatic continent. The probabilities are 
that they were convinced by the Admiral's own statement near 
the middle of his "Lettera Rarissima" in which he reiterates 
his belief that the world is not as large as commonly supposed. 
It is at this time that he must have made disposition of his 
problem. He has the proportions given him by Esdras of land 
and sea ; he has Sovereigns to satisfy that India is now acces- 


478 The Science of Columbus 

sible to them; these upon one hand. On the other he has all 
that he has seen, all that he has reasoned, all that he surmises 
in his sagacious and discerning mind to reconcile. 

He must have known positively that he was upon conti- 
nental land, not Asia, and that a body of water at least a ten 
days' sail in width lay between him and Cathay. In the light 
of these indisputable facts supported by the Admiral's own 
words, it seems advisable to dismiss as false the ancient tradi- 
tion that Columbus died in ignorance of his discovery and be- 
lieving that he had reached India. 

Why he did not take up a march at once across Panama 
to the opposite side is easily explained. His ships were crazy, 
his food exhausted and the folk he encountered on the main- 
land were not the simple savages of the West Indies. There 
is something pathetic in his sailing away from that mighty 
rumor that he had heard to take up the roundabout rambling 
over the sea. Perhaps what was left to him of life was more 
to his liking than an end on the limitless breast of the Pacific, 
or an open admission to the Sovereigns that he had found yet 
between his New World and India thousands of leagues of 
mighty world-girth. 

Having taken possession of Ciguare with its mines of gold, 
he sailed away to explore the north. Storm and accident 
stranded him on Jamaica. He sent a real hero by the name of 
Diego Mendez across a hundred miles of wilderness and furi- 
ous sea to Espanola for ships. The man made the trip over- 
land and by canoe and discharged his mission to the letter. 
The Admiral and his exhausted crews were rescued after 
months of waiting by a ship that Mendez had bought with 
Columbus' money and by one sent by Ovando, governor of 

The Science of Columbus 479 

It was while waiting on rescue that he called into use his 
astronomical knowledge and frightened the recalcitrant na- 
tives into providing his men with food, by predicting an eclipse 
of the moon. 

It is not probable that the Admiral made the calculation 
himself. The chances are that he carried with him one of 
Johannes Muller's Calendarium, a book issued in 1474, which 
calculated eclipses and movements of the heavenly bodies 
years in advance. In his "Book of Prophecies" Columbus 
mentions eclipses twice, adding enough personal observations 
to warrant the belief that he knew and understood astronomy. 

In his new snips he returned to Espanola where he was 
kindly received, but his wound had opened afresh,* gout af- 
flicted him, and his years weighed upon him. He returned 
to Spain in November of 1504. 

He had fulfilled the terms of his contract. If he had not 
opened an ocean route to India it was the fault of the config- 
uration of the globe not his own. He had delivered a new 
hemisphere, the richest on the globe to Spain. This done, the 
ungrateful survivor of the party of the second part, Ferdinand, 
refused to live up to his terms. 

Christopher Columbus, one of the greatest scientists of all 
times, part owner of half the globe, died in poverty and men- 
tal disquiet, as somehow they always die who achieve mightily 
for mankind. 

When he left Palos in August, 1492, he was the foremost 

*There is no account of a wound in all the history of the Admiral 
but when the casket containing his ashes was opened twenty-five or 
thirty years ago a bullet of lead weighing an ounce was found in his 
dust. The presumption is that he was wounded at some period of 
his life, when he was obscure and roving, and the bullet was never 

480 The Science of Columbus 

thinker of the day ; when he landed on Watling's Island he 
was a bewildered, ignorant man on the threshold of immense 
facts old and new. When he dragged himself from the ship 
he had bought with his own money, in the harbor of San Lu- 
car de Barrameda, in Spain, he was again the foremost thinker 
of the day, for he had learned mightily, more than he chose to 
tell the world or his friend among the Sovereigns of Spain. 
He knew his people, his times and his monarchs. When he 
uncovered continental land unknown to that hour, he recog- 
nized that he had not opened a way for trade with India, nor 
revealed the whereabouts of the gorgeous cities of Quinsay 
and Zaiton to the avaricious age. Instead he had given it 
treasure greater than the fabulous wealth of many Indias but 
a virgin wealth that had to be gained by toil and pains. This 
was hardly welcomed by that people accustomed to profit 
without labor. He deemed it wise to keep his greatest knowl- 
edge within himself. 

He lived before Tycho Brahe, before Copernicus, before 
Galileo and before Newton. Available scientific facts to guide 
him were fewer than those in the knowledge of the school-boy 
to-day; But he had a vision that could penetrate the dark 
without help. His was a twilight age and in spite of intimida- 
tion, in spite of injustice and vast difficulty, he lessened the 
obscurity so that all men might see. 

Note — Acknowledgment is made to John Boyd Thatcher's 
"Christopher Columbus" for translations in this article. 


VOL 7 NO. 10 




(Reprinted from the Proceedings 01 the American Bar Association, 
1910. and Enlarged. Reprinted, 1929 « 



It is not so many years since a simple-minded country 
lawyer from the prairies of Illinois, standing before the Capi- 
tol, pledged himself, for a second time, to "preserve, protect, 
and defend the Constitution of the United States." He had 
walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and the 
people to whom he spoke had walked with him. A sudden 
sunshine fell upon his care-worn face as he closed his appeal : 
"With malice toward none ; with charity for all ; with firmness 
in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on 
to finish the worK we are in ; to bind up the nation's wounds ; 
to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his 
widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and 
cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all 
nations." Four years earlier, standing before a multitude who 
neither understood nor trusted him, he had said to his "dis- 
satisfied fellow countrymen :" "We are not enemies, but 
friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have 
strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic 
chords of memory, stretching from every battle field and pa- 
triot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this 
broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again 
touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our 

Ever since, men have asked the questions: Who taught 
him ? Where did he gain the power to say so simply the words 
that have stayed in the memories and hearts of men through all 
these years ? 



There was nothing extraordinary about it. This simple- 
minded country lawyer had sprung from good Southern stock. 
The Lincolns had been pioneers in New England, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, and Kentucky, and they included in their connection 
men of mark and men of character. Abraham Lincoln had the 
training of a devoted stepmother, the encouragement of loyal 
friends, and the inspiration of a brilliant rival who was like- 
wise his friend. Poverty had beset him and had spurred him 
to success. How this discipline made a lawyer of him, and 
how his training at the law made him what he was, it is the 
purpose of this paper to show. 

His Indiana boyhood gave him the same opportunities 
that came to other Hoosier boys. When, in his eagerness to 
know what the outside world was doing, he ran to the road- 
side to hail the passing emigrant and ask questions, his father 
thought him lazy and drove him back to his work. And when, 
late at night, he lingered by the fireplace to ask other questions 
of the wayfarer who had come out of the busy East, his father 
failed to understand, and banished him, reluctant, to his bed, 
where he left the world of conscious learning for the world of 
dreams in which he chiefly lived. 

"I remember," this boy has said, "how when a mere child, 
I used to get irritated when anybody talked to me in a way 
I could not understand. I do not think I ever got angry at 
anything else in my life ; but that always disturbed my tem- 
per. I can remember going to my little room, after hearing 
the neighbors talk of an evening with my father, and spending 
no small part of the night walking up and down trying to 
make out the exact meaning of their, to me, dark sayings. I 
could not sleep, although I tried to, when I got on such a hunt 
for an idea, until I had caught it ; and when I thought I had 
got it I was not satisfied until I had repeated it over and over 


again; until I had put it in language plain enough, so I 
thought, for any boy I knew to comprehend. This was a kind 
of passion with me, and it has stuck by me, for I am never 
easy now when I am handling a thought, till I have bounded 
it north, and bounded it south, and bounded it east, and 
bounded it west." 

At four years old, at ten, at fourteen, and at seventeen, 
each time for perhaps a month, the boy whose ambition was 
to learn to express a thought so plainly "that any boy he knew 
could comprehend" was permitted to go to school. His 
teachers were not educational specialists,* but they were men 
of affairs who stimulated public spirit and ambition in the boy. 
The influence of these men of affairs, as well as of the groups 
of the illiterate, who, at the country store of Gentryville, ad- 
miringly drew the boy out, is not to be ignored by one who 
would trace Lincoln's talents to their sources. 

It is said that Lincoln as a boy used to walk fifteen miles 
to Boonville to attend court. On one of these occasions he 
was so impressed with the brilliant conduct of his case by a 
lawyer named Brackenridge that he introduced himself (but 
the ungainly youth made no progress in the acquaintance) 
and got snubbed. Forty years later at the White House, Presi- 
dent Lincoln reminded Mr. Brackenridge of the trial which had 
left such a deep impression on his mind. It was in these 
country courts in Indiana and Illinois that there gathered 
from miles around men into whose colorless lives the incidents 

*They were Zachariah Riney, who is buried within the Trappist 
monastery of Gethsemane, and Crawford, a lifelong resident of Spen- 
cer county, Indiana, and a justice of the peace, and Dorsey, coroner 
and county treasurer, library and bridge trustee, who led in every move- 
ment for the public good, and the boy's friend, John Pitcher, legislator 
and judge, who lent him the Indiana statutes and planted in his breast 
that interest in the law for which he came to hunger and thirst as for 
righteousness itself. 


of a trial at law brought much that was of absorbing interest. 
"The court rooms were always crowded," writes Mr. Arnold,* 
Lincoln's colleague and biographer. "To go to court and listen 
to the witnesses and lawyers was among the chief amusements 
of the frontier settlement. At court were rehearsed and en- 
acted the tragedy and comedy of real life. The court room 
answered for the theater, concert hall, and opera, of the older 
settlements. The judges and lawyers were the stars, and wit 
and humor, pathos and eloquence, always had appreciative 

In 1830 came the migration to Illinois. The boy, now 
twenty-one, took the lead, driving the oxen, and peddling 
from house to house the little stock of notions he had laid in 
for this matchless commercial opportunity. He was spokes- 
man as well as leader, and plied every wayfarer with questions 
about the doings of men in the political and social life of the 
sociable West. 

In Indiana Abraham Lincoln, being under twenty-one, had 
been his father's serf. In the Land of Full Grown Men — for 
that was the meaning of the Indian name Illinois — he was 
now emancipated by law. For a few years more he was still 
to do the bidding of other men as laborer and clerk. As his 
thirst for knowledge, his social instinct, and his ambition, 
brought him more and more into the fellowship of men, he 
was not slow to abandon the "hired man's" job and begin to 

The story of the Black Hawk war of 1832, young Lincoln 
winning his captaincy by his physical prowess, as Saul and 
David won their kingdom, is the story of Lincoln's awakening 
to the possibilities of a political career. On this summertime 

*Isaac N. Arnold, "Reminiscences of the Illinois Bar, Forty Years 
Ago," in Fergus' Historical Series, Vol. 23, No. 14 (Chicago, 1881). 


frolic he won renown as an athlete and a teller of stories. He 
was not averse to earning a dollar in a foot race or a wrestling 
match, but what was more to the point, he gained among 
those two or three thousand pioneer soldiers the good will of 
many who in later years were to be his supporters in politics, 
his clients, and his colleagues at the law. Here too he won 
the friendship of his major. John T. Stuart, who, two years 
later served with him in the Illinois legislature. Major Stuart 
was already a successful practitioner. Stuart encouraged Lin- 
coln to study law, and after the election lent him books. These 
the young man carried with him as he walked back and forth 
between Springfield and Xew Salem. Both before the session 
and later, when, the burdens of state being laid aside, the 
princely income of three dollars a day became no longer avail- 
able, he plunged into his studies. He was admitted to the bar 
and removed to Springfield in 1837. The advertisement in 
the Sangamo Journal, dated April 12. 1837, proclaims that 

"J. T. Stuart and A. Lincoln, Attorneys and Counsellors 
at Law, will practice conjointly in the courts of this judicial 
circuit. Office Xo. 4, Hoffman Row, upstairs." 

The first circuit extended from Alton to the Wisconsin 
line. Despite the paucity of population and the difficulties of 
transportation, it offered a tempting field for professional ac- 
tivity. These very obstacles made opportunities for him. He 
throve on hardships and exposure, and made his iron consti- 
tution and his gigantic physical strength serve his clients' 
necessities as no other lawyer of that day could. 

Before his removal to Springfield. Lincoln had served two 
terms in the legislature: and had been postmaster under a 
democratic president. The meager income from this source 
was increased substantially by a three dollar per diem earned 
by him as deputy under a democratic county surveyor, John 


Calhoun, who afterwards made a name for himself in the 
flaming pre-war politics of Kansas. The surveys of Petersburg 
and Albany, Illinois, are among those on file in the records 
of Menard and Logan counties, with the certificate of A. Lin- 
coln as deputy under John Calhoun and another county sur- 
veyor, T. M. Neale. These two positions enabled him to con- 
tinue his studies and to undertake a mercantile venture whose 
early collapse burdened him for years with what he was wont 
to call "the national debt." 

A customer at this store of Berry and Lincoln at New 
Salem might have sought in vain for Berry, the drunkard. 
Lincoln he might have found lying on his back in the grass — 
feet propped high against the shady side of a tree, and lank 
body slowly squirming about to keep out of the sun, — his mind 
so absorbed in Blackstone that he seemed wholly indifferent 
to business. It was while he was managing partner of Berry 
and Lincoln's department store that he started his law library. 
As he tells it : "A man who was migrating to the west drove 
up with a wagon which contained his household plunder. He 
asked if I would buy an old barrel, . . . which he said con- 
tained nothing of special value. I paid a half dollar for it, 
put it away, and forgot all about it. Some time after, I came 
upon the barrel and emptying it I found at the bottom a com- 
plete edition of Blackstone's Commentaries. I began to read 
those famous works and I had plenty of time, for during the 
long summer days when the farmers were busy with their 
crops, my customers were few and far between. The more 
I read, the more intensely interested I became. Never in my 
life was my mind so absorbed." 

From this unpromising beginning to the far-off day in 
1864, when he received the degree of Doctor of Laws from 
Princeton University, the evolution of the lawyer is the story 


of patient growth in that fine sense for the feeling of others 
and a recognition of their point of view which marks the gen- 
tleman, — a spiritual growth, and a growth in wisdom and in 

Two letters, written years later, throw some light on his 
method of preparing for the law. To a young friend he 
wrote in 1855 : 

"If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of 
yourself the thing is more than half done already. It is a 
small matter whether you read with anybody or not. I did 
not read with any one. Get the books and read and study 
them till you understand them in their every feature, and that 
is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large 
town while you are reading. I read at New Salem, which 
never had three hundred people in it. The books and your 
capacity for understanding them are just the same in all places. 
. . . Always bear in mind that your own resolution to suc- 
ceed is more important than any other one thing." 

To another he wrote in 1860 : 

"Yours asking the 'best method of obtaining a thorough 
knowledge of the law' is received. The mode is very simple, 
though laborious and tedious. It is only to get the books and 
read and study them carefully. Begin with Blackstone's Com- 
mentaries and after reading it through, say twice, take up 
Chitty's Pleadings, Greenleaf's Evidence, and Story's Equity, 
etc., in succession. Work, work, work, is the main thing." 

Earlier in his career than the Blackstone incident is the 
acquisition, by some process now forgotten, of the Indiana 
Revised Statutes of 1824. This was probably Lincoln's first 
law book. Its value to the young lawyer must have been 
political rather than professional. It contained the Declaration 
of Independence, the Ordinance of 1787 creating the North- 


west Territory, the Constitution of the United States, and the 
Constitution of Indiana. In the Ordinance of 1787, and in 
the Indiana constitution, he first found formal, authoritative 
expression of the people's disapproval of slavery. The consti- 
tutional provision was as follows : 

"As the holding of any part of the human creation is 
slavery . . . can only originate in usurpation and tyranny, no 
alteration of this constitution shall ever take place so as to 
introduce slavery ... in this state." 

This book doubtless came into his hands in Indiana, whither 
his father had migrated from Kentucky to escape the competi- 
tion of slave labor, and there is little doubt that its provisions 
against slavery, as well as those for reclaiming fugitive slaves, 
helped to determine his attitude on a question which absorbed 
so large a part of his life. It is said to have been given him 
by John Pitcher of Rockport. 

At New Salem Lincoln boarded with a justice of the peace 
who bore the odd name of Bowling Green, and studied Kirk- 
ham's Grammar under Menter Graham, the impecunious vil- 
lage schoolmaster, and read and committed to memory the 
poems of Burns and the plays of Shakespeare which he bor- 
rowed from Graham. New Salem is no longer even a deserted 
village. The store where Lincoln kept post office and created 
"the national debt" is demolished and, board by board, is being 
made over into souvenirs. The village is no longer even a 
memory to the octogenarians of Menard county. 

In the files of the Circuit Court at Petersburg, a mile from 
New Salem, is still to be seen a declaration in Lincoln's hand- 
writing, in the case of Nancy Green versus Menter Graham 
which shows how the young lawyer had to shut his eyes to 
Menter Graham's claims upon his friendship in order to serve 
Nancy Green's necessities. A facsimile, or "sick family" as 
Lincoln called it, accompanies this paper. 


Before justices of the peace, in the circuit courts of forty- 
five different counties in Illinois, and occasionally in Indiana, 
in the federal courts of Illinois, Ohio and probably Missouri, 
in the state and federal supreme courts, the practice that Abra- 
ham Lincoln built up in twenty years was remarkable. In 
the court reports and in the nisi prius dockets is to be found 
every conceivable variety of cases.* 

It would be a mistake to imagine that there were not 
plenty of lawyers to conduct the litigation, or that there was 
any monopolizing of the practice by a few men. Thus, in 
Eighth Illinois, containing cases decided in 1845 and 1846, 
Lincoln had seventeen cases, but eighty-three other lawyers in 
the same volume had from one to sixteen cases each. When 
Tenth Illinois was published in 1849, a thousand lawyers were 
enrolled in the Supreme Court of the State. "The days of men's 
innocency" had already passed. 

The office docket, containing a partial account of the 
transactions of the three firms of Stuart and Lincoln, Logan 
and Lincoln, and Lincoln and Herndon, between 1838 and 
1860, is still to be seen at Springfield. It contains some four 
hundred entries of service rendered, omitting many cases in 

*Some of the subjects of these cases may be of interest ; jurisdiction 
of justice of the peace, the validity of a slave as the consideration for a 
promissory note, enforcement of gambling debts, seduction, fraud, sale 
of real estate of decedent, guardianships, mortgage and mechanic's lien 
foreclosure, divorce, specific performance, suretyship, county seat wars, 
ejectment, wills, the defense and sometimes the prosecution of crimes, 
damages for personal injuries, for prairie fires, rescission, slander, fees 
and salaries, mandate, quo warranto, injunction, replevin, patents, taxa- 
tion, insurance, carriers, partition, liquor questions, political questions, 
statute of frauds, railway stock subscriptions, eminent domain, trusts 
and trustees, questions of constitutional law, and procedure at law and in 
chancery. In the circuit courts, where Lincoln was often employed at 
the time the case was called for trial no case seemed too small to com- 
mand his service. The trials in that day indicated a litigious disposition 
in the community which has happily disappeared with the advance of 


which we know Lincoln to have been employed. The extent of 
these employments it is impossible now to learn, for the fed- 
eral court records of Judges Pope and Treat and Justice Mc- 
Lean were destroyed in the Chicago fire and the court dockets 
in many counties fail to indicate the names of counsel, while in 
all the records are incomplete. 

Mr. Frederick Trevor Hill, in his admirable work, Lin- 
coln the Lawyer, publishes a list of 172 cases in the Illinois 
Supreme Court, in which Lincoln's name appears as attorney 
of record. To this list three others should be added: 

Cunningham vs. Fithian, in 6th 111., 269. (His name was omitted 
by the official reporter. See 7 111., 650) and State of Illinois vs. Illinois 
Central, etc., Co., 27 111., 64, and Walker vs. Herrick, 18 111., 570, a 
suit brought and won for the Illinois Central Railroad Co., under his 

In relation to the foregoing, the Illinois Central Railroad 
Company, in a brochure, privately published, mentions Walker 
vs. Herrick, 18 111., 570, a suit involving the validity of certain 
land grants which was brought upon Lincoln's advice and won 
upon the theory advanced by him in his written opinion given 
to the railroad company in 1856. 

The reports of the Supreme Court of the United States 
contain several Illinois cases in which the names of counsel are 
not given. Three of Lincoln's cases are there reported, how- 

United States vs. Chicago,* 7 How. (U. S.) 185; Lincoln for 

Lewis, for the use of Nicholas Longworth vs. Lewis, 7 How. 
(U. S.) 775; Lincoln for appellee. 

Forsyth vs. Reynolds, 15 How. (U. S.) 358; Lincoln for defend- 

'That Lincoln appeared in this case although his name is omitted 
from the official report is stated on the authority of the Clerk of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. 


In the reports of the federal courts, incomplete as they 
were, thirteen of his cases appear.** 

From these reported cases it would seem that Lincoln was 
open to the charge of being a corporation lawyer, which in 
these later days of class-conscious democracy is an obstacle 
to political advancement. At a time when corporations carried 
on but a small part of the business or the litigation, his regular 
clientage included all classes of municipal corporations, besides 
mercantile and manufacturing companies, banks, insurance 
companies and railroads — the last named including the Illinois 
Central, the Atlantic, the Alton and Sangamon, and the Tonica 
and Petersburg roads. 

His request for a renewal of his pass as attorney for the 
Alton is in his characteristic humor: 

**These are : 

Lincoln vs. Tower, 2 McLean, 473; Lincoln for plaintiff. 

January vs. Duncan, 3 McLean, 19; Logan & Lincoln for plaintiff. 

Sturtevant vs. City of Alton, 3 McLean, 393; Logan & Lincoln for 

Lewis vs. Administrators of Broadwell, 3 McLean, 568; Logan & 
Lincoln for defendant. 

Voce vs. Lawrence, 4 McLean, 203 ; Lincoln for plaintiff. 

Lafayette Bank vs. State Bank of Illinois, 4 McLean, 208; Lincoln 
for plaintiff. 

Moore vs. Brown, 4 McLean, 211; Lincoln for defendant. 

Kemper vs. Adams, 5 McLean, 507; Logan for plaintiff. Lincoln 
for defendant. 

United States vs. Prentice, 6 McLean, 65; Logan & Lincoln for 

Columbus Insurance Co. vs. Peoria Bridge Ass'n, 6 McLean, 70; 
Lincoln for plaintiff. Logan for defendant. 

United States vs. Railroad & Bridge Co., 6 McLean, 516; Lincoln 
for defendant. 

McCormick vs. Manny, 6 McLean, 539; Lincoln for defendant. 


"Feb. 13/56 
R. P. Morgan, Esq. 

Dear Sir, 
Says Tom to John 'Here's your old rotten wheelbarrow, 
I've broke it usin' on it. I wish you would mend it case I shall 
want to borrow it this arter-noon.' 

Acting on this as a precedent, I say, 'Here's your old 
'Chalked Hat.'* I wish you would take it and send me a new 
one ; case I shall want to use it the first of March.' 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln." 

Of the one hundred and seventy-five cases in the Illinois 
reports he won ninety-two and lost eighty-three ; of the ten 
cases in McLean's reports (U. S. Cir. Ct.) whose final de- 
cision is given he won seven ; and of the three cases in the 
U. S. Supreme Court he won two. 

In the legislature of 1834 Lincoln served with John T. 
Stuart, Stephen T. Logan and Stephen A. Douglas. The 
legislature of 1836 brought together a remarkable group of 
great men, Lincoln and Douglas, Stuart and Logan, Edward 
D. Baker, afterwards senator from Oregon, Orville H. Brown- 
ing, afterwards senator and Secretary of the Interior, James 
A. Shields, afterwards general in the Civil War and senator 
from three different states, John A. McClernand, afterwards 
congressman and general in the Civil War, Dan Stone, after- 
wards circuit judge but remembered only for the protest 
against slavery which he and Lincoln registered on the legis- 
lative journals of that session, William A. Richardson, later 
U. S. senator, John A. Logan, general and senator, and John 
J. Hardin, — all of them brilliant men and soon to become 

*The vernacular for pass. 


leaders of the bar of the young state. The chief value of this 
legislative experience to the young lawyer was in the oppor- 
tunity it gave him to enlarge his acquaintance among his own 
profession. The laws passed from 1835 to 1839 did not call 
for the wisdom of Solon. Besides the internal improvement 
acts, about the only creative legislation then enacted is a series 
of statutes declaring Spoon River, Crooked River, The Snicar- 
ty, Skillet Fork, and others of their kind, to be navigable 
streams. And these enactments suggest Lincoln's familiar 
conundrum: ''Calling a dog's tail a leg, how many legs has 

Lincoln came to Springfield penniless but by no means 
friendless. As one of the "Long Nine" from Sangamon 
County he had been the chief factor in their successful effort 
to remove the capital from Vandalia to Springfield, a service 
for which the people of Springfield did not lack appreciation. 
The invitation to a partnership with Major John T. Stuart 
was a compliment, and the new association gave him a posi- 
tion at the bar and in the community which would not other- 
wise have been his so soon. Although Stuart's long absences 
while campaigning and at Congress diminished the income of 
the firm, they threw responsibilities upon young Lincoln and 
gave him confidence in himself. 

Lincoln was enrolled as a member of the bar of the Illinois 
Supreme Court on March 1, 1837. He was admitted to practice 
in the Supreme Court of the United States at the November 
term, 1848. He was never without a partner. 

The partnership with Major Stuart commenced April 
12, 1837,* and continued for four years. 

*Stuart gives it April 2j, 1837, but the advertisement in the Sanga- 
mo Journal is dated April 12, and is no doubt authoritative. 


Stuart was two years older, a man of commanding pres- 
ence, of dignified and courtly manners, quick to make friends 
and able to hold them loyally to himself. He was a graduate 
of a Kentucky college and an old-fashioned, polished gentle- 
man, a successful lawyer, and always a politician. This inti- 
mate association of four years, with a common interest in the 
law and in politics, was worth much to the junior partner. 

The old office docket for this period contains many entries 
of interest, showing the character of the early practice and 
the fees charged. An entry in 1838 reads : "Lincoln rec'd 
of Z. Peter $2.81^. cents which is taken in full of all ballances 
due up to this date." Another : "Johnson v. Gay. Forcible 
Detainer. Before Justice Clement. Paid Lincoln by board 

A third shows a charge of $7.50 for a proceeding to sell 
a decedent's real estate to pay debts, and a payment of the 
account in three installments. 

The firm of Logan and Lincoln lasted from April 14, 1841, 
until September 20, 1843. Judge Logan had been circuit judge 
from 1835 to 1837 and had resigned his place at a salary of 
$750 a year to take up what for some years was probably the 
largest general practice at the Illinois bar. He was nine 
years older than Lincoln. Elihu B. Washburne describes 
Logan as "A small thin man, with a little, wrinkled, wizened 
face, set off by an immense head of hair which might be called 
frowsy. He was dressed in linsey woolsey and wore very 
heavy shoes. His shirt was of unbleached cotton and un- 
starched and he never incumbered himself with a cravat. His 
voice was shrill, sharp, and unpleasant, and he had not a single 
grace of oratory ; but when he spoke he always had interested 
and attentive listeners. Underneath this curious and grotesque 
exterior there was a gigantic intellect." 


Just why the partnership was so brief has not been told. 
Perhaps Lincoln did not accommodate himself enough to 
Judge Logan's ideas and was too easy going and unmethodi- 
cal, and too independent of any sort of restraint ; perhaps the 
ambition of both men to go to Congress made it hard for them 
to work in harmony. At all events the firm prospered and 
Logan was its controlling spirit. Lincoln was an unsuccessful 
candidate for the congressional nomination during this period, 
although later he was elected for one term. Logan became his 
successor on the Whig ticket, but was defeated. The only 
pleadings of the firm to be found in the files of Sangamon 
county are in Judge Logan's handwriting. Unless Lincoln's 
autographs of this period have been stolen, this would indicate 
that Logan kept the reins of authority in his own hands. Prac- 
tically all of the pleadings of Stuart and Lincoln and of Lin- 
coln and Herndon — many of which I have seen — are 
in Lincoln's hand, and as clear as if written yesterday. 
They cover so many sheets, in the old Sangamon County 
files, and in some other counties where the thief has not yet 
been, that one wonders how Lincoln had time for anything 
else. All are written with laborious care. The apt word is 
used ; there are singularly few corrections ; and the sand then 
used as a blotter still clings to the sheets. The spelling is 
reasonably correct — much more so, at any rate, than that of 
George Washington in his autograph manuscripts. 

It is easy to see, without reflecting on either partner, how 
these two positive characters, so unlike in many vital respects, 
found it hard to work together. And it is pleasant to remem- 
ber that in later years, when Lincoln's giant struggle with 
Douglas had made him a world figure, Logan was his devoted 
friend, contributing of his fortune, as well as of his store of 
wisdom and influence, to the advancement of his former part- 


ner and close friend, and, on that bitter day in April, 1865, 
offering the final tribute of the bar to the memory of the man 
they loved. 

Lincoln's choice of Herndon for a partner seems a strange 
one after his close association with a man of Logan's charac- 
ter and ability, and particularly in view of Herndon's subse- 
quent indifference to Lincoln's high repute. Herndon's father 
was Archie G. Herndon, one of "the Long Nine," and a poli- 
tician of prominence at Springfield. And "Billy" Herndon, 
as he was called, was the cousin of "Row" Herndon of the 
Garys Grove "gang" at New Salem, to whose support Lincoln 
owed his captaincy and his first legislative successes. The 
young lawyer had graduated at Jacksonville and had clerked 
in Joshua F. Speed's store where he was known as a scholarly 
youth with some native ability and more assurance. The recom- 
mendation of Speed, Lincoln's only intimate friend, and a 
sense of loyalty toward the friends of his earlier days had 
their influence. No doubt, too, being self-taught and timid 
about his own attainments, Lincoln attached undue importance 
to the young man's college training. Herndon helped in the 
trial of their earlier cases — much as a law clerk would — and 
drove to Petersburg and nearby county seats in the circuit, 
sometimes with Lincoln and sometimes alone. But, although 
sharing equally in the earnings of the firm, he was not looked 
upon as an equal participant in its responsibilities, and, — so 
we are told by a client of the firm — was not consulted about 
important matters when Lincoln was absent. But for the 
Herndon biography, the intimacy of the association would, 
perhaps, be forgotten. 

In Springfield, the Supreme Court in the forties sat twice 
a year, where the law required it to "continue until the business 
before it shall be disposed of." The library was in the court 


room. Here the lawyers from all over the state, gathered to 
look up their authorities, prepare their arguments, and, in 
the evenings, to hold reunions. At these gatherings Lincoln 
was the center of an interested group. His stories amused 
them, and his talk, especially when stimulated by the congenial 
companionship and esprit de corps of the bar of that day, 
always commanded attention. 

Lincoln's first case in the Illinois reports, decided in 1840, 
was Scammon v. Cline, 3 111., 456. It had been tried before 
Judge Dan Stone in Boone County and won below by Lincoln's 
client, but was reversed by the Supreme Court. It was a J. P. 
appeal, and in the circuit court it was dismissed on technical 
grounds set up by Lincoln. One of the Supreme judges who 
reversed the case was Stephen A. Douglas, then only twenty- 
seven years old, and the Judge Stone who decided it below, 
was the man who had joined with Lincoln in protest in the 
legislature of 1837 against the extension of slavery. 

His last case in that court was State vs. Illinois Central R. 
R. Co., 27 111., 63, involving the principle that railway property 
must be taxed at its present, and not at its prospective value, 
and that the inquiry should be, what it is worth for the pur- 
poses for which it was designed and not for any other pur- 
poses to which it might be applied. 

Between these two cases are several in which new and im- 
portant principles were established by Abraham Lincoln.* 

* Among these are : . , . , 1t , 

Bryan vs. Wash, 7 HI., 557, which has been cited and followed 
eighty-five times. 

Griggs vs. Gear, 8 111., 2, cited 51 times. 

Perry vs. McHenry, 13 111., 227, cited 47 times. 

Ross vs. Irving, 14 111., W, c ited 33 times. 

Illinois Central R. R. Co. vs. Morrison, 19 111., 136, cited 24 times. 


A list of these will be found in the appendix. 

It is said that Lincoln was not learned in the law. True 
it is that in those days the publication of court decisions was 
no such splendid riot of woodpulp and electrotype as it is today. 
But the text books of Greenleaf and Story and Parsons were 
both law and literature, and the libraries accessible to attor- 
neys were not made up then of machine made books compiled 
and edited vicariously as they are today. 

With the library of the Supreme Court just across the 
street, there was no need for many books in the dismal room 
where Lincoln and Herndon held forth. Though absent from 
his Springfield office much of the time, Lincoln had access to 
all the books that are the recognized classics of English and 
American law. These he must have known familiarly for he 
cited them continually in his briefs. 

The list includes the Indiana Revised Statutes of 1824, 
Chitty's Pleading, Kent's and Stephen's Commentaries, Green- 
lief on Evidence, Parsons on Contracts, Redfield on Railways, 
Angell & Ames on Corporations, Angell on Limitations and 
Story's Equity. 

The Springfield law office has been described many times. 
In the reminiscences of the late J. B. Bennett of Cincinnati, 
published in Rough Notes, volume 41, at page 78, appears 
this description of the man in his office: 

"At the top of the stairway you directly entered a long 
room, destitute of every honest claim to be titled an office. 
It was a low, black, schooner sort of an affair — dusty, dingy, 
and destitute of ornament, unless the lawyer's old rusty stove, 
like the one horse shay, ready to collapse, might be so con- 
strued. The front part of the room, while absolutely barren, 
was nevertheless impressibly full of emptiness. At the back 
part was a large pine table. On this table were a few law 


books, scattered in appropriate disorder. Towards the end 
of the table, uncommonly tall, stood a giant man intently 
reading a law book, impressing the spectator with the idea that 
the man was either too tall for the room or that the ceiling 
was too low for the man. The book he was reading was 
slightly inclined so as to catch the faint rays of light on the 
pages from a rear window. The shade and background of 
the whole with the somber hue of the reader, made a very 
dark picture, and the man stood like a silhouette, excepting a 
momentary flash of the eye which he gave to the intruder and 
then continued his reading. That glance of the eye was the 
only recognition or sign of life." 

Mr. Arnold* describes the man thus : 

"Lincoln was ... six feet, four inches in height and would 
be instantly recognized as belonging to that type of tall, large- 
boned men, produced in the Northern part of the Mississippi 
Valley, and exhibiting its peculiar characteristics in the most 
marked degree in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. In any 
Court-Room in the United States he would instantly have been 
picked out as a Western man. His stature, figure, dress, man- 
ner, voice, and accent, indicated that he was of the North- West. 
In manner he was always cordial and frank, and, although not 
without dignity, he made every person feel quite at his ease. 
I think the first impression a stranger would get of him, 
whether in conversation, or by hearing him speak, was, that 
this is a kind, frank, sincere, genuine man ; of transparent 
truthfulness and integrity: and before Lincoln had uttered 
many words, he would be impressed with his clear good sense, 
his remarkably simple, homely, wit and humor." 

*Isaac N. Arnold, "Reminiscences of the Illinois Bar, Forty Years 
Ago," in Fergus' Historical Series, Vol. 2, No. 14, P- 145, (Chicago, 1881 ). 


Mr. S. Wesley Martin, afterward of California, has de- 
scribed Lincoln's manner and looks : 

"He was a convincing speaker. He used no gestures, ex- 
cept that occasionally he would extend his long right arm and 
point with his index finger at the people in a way that seemed 
to say, 'Don't you see ?' 

"I shall never forget how Lincoln was dressed. His coat 
was of black glossy alpaca. It seemed to be several inches 
too short for him, and he buttoned the lowest button so that 
the upper part of the coat spread outward as if to make room 
for something to be tucked in at the sides. The hat was a tall 
stove pipe and had evidently seen better days. It looked as if 
a calf might have gone over it with its wet tongue." 

When he appeared on the platform or in the parlor he 
showed his respect for his audience or his associates by 
dressing properly and in a way that would have been wholly 
incompatible with the dust or mire of the prairie roads. 

Lincoln's reputation as a lawyer was made between 1840 
and 1854. From traveling the Eighth Circuit and the counties 
adjoining he extended his practice into every part of the state, 
until, with the added fame which his debates with Douglas in 
1858 brought him, there were many points in Illinois where 
in every important case it was considered necessary to en- 
gage the services of Mr. Lincoln. One cannot overestimate the 
value of this hard life on the circuit both as discipline develop- 
ing the man's powers and as an avenue toward that extraor- 
dinary personal acquaintance which meant so much to him in 
his political struggles later on. 

The supreme court was in session only a few days in the 
year, and the circuit court at Springfield sat for only a few 
weeks. The rest of the year he "rode the circuit" by stage 
and on horseback until he could afford a buggy, visiting each 


of the fourteen towns regularly and extending his journey 
to almost as many adjoining towns. 

The life on the road, hard as it was, with judge, lawyer-,, 
witnesses, hangers-on, and even prisoners, traveling together 
and eating and sleeping together, the food unspeakable, and 
rest unknown, must, nevertheless, have had its compensating 
joys. That was no ordinary company. It was not unlike the 
pilgrimage to Canterbury. There was David Davis, the com- 
panionable judge, who knew the law, and who loved a laugh. 
And there were Logan the scholarly, and Stuart, the shrewd 
and kindly, Swett, the clever, and Browning, the handsome, 
and Lamon, the amusing, and Weldon, and Gridley, and Parks, 
and Harmon, and Ficklin, and Linder, and Whitney, and Oliver 
L. Davis, and the best beloved Abraham Lincoln. Some of 
them traveled to only two or three counties, but David Davis 
and Lincoln went the whole circuit, Davis because he had to. 
and Lincoln because he loved it. 

"I well recollect," says Mr. Whitney, in his Life of Lin- 
coln, "a term of court at Urbana, where a prisoner on trial for 
perjury used to spend his evenings with us in the judge's 
room, and a term at Danville where a prisoner on trial for 
larceny not only spent his evenings in our room, but had his 
meals with us and took walks in our immediate company." 

The courts in the fourteen counties commenced in Septem- 
ber, and continued until midsummer, sitting in each town 
from two days to a week. 

Leonard Swett says : "I rode the Eighth Judicial Circuit 
with Lincoln for eleven years, and in the allotment between 
him and the large Judge Davis in the scanty provision of 
these times, as a rule I slept with him. Beds were always too 
short, coffee in the morning burned or otherwise bad, food 
often indifferent, roads simply trails, streams without bridges 


and often swollen, and had to be swam, sloughs often muddy 
and almost impassable, and we had to help the horses when 
the wagon mired down, with fence rails for pries." 

Naturally the business of a court that sat for only a few 
days and then adjourned for six months had to be crowded 
through in such a way as to afford scant opportunity for prep- 
aration. Thus the rule of the Macon Circuit Court (1840) 
reads : "All issues are required to be made up on call of the 
cause for trial." 

Judge Davis had little patience with technicalities. " Tt 
appears to me,' Swett once commenced, in an argument on 
demurrer. T don't care how it appears to you/ was the 
judge's tart response. 'Hand up your authorities if you have 
any.' " 

The lawyers were wont to follow the court from county 
to county, often without employment except what they picked 
up on arrival. Sometimes the harvest of cases would not pay 
the cost of the journey, and, again, after a lawyer's reputation 
as a case winner had become established, the business would 
be all that could be desired. 

The trip to Tazewell county, seventy miles, as shown by 
the docket, cost $21.25. To extend it to Decatur and Dan- 
ville and Paris made the expense one which a less successful 
lawyer could not have afforded. The business that came to 
Lincoln on such a trip must sometimes have been dishearten- 
ing. His first case at Decatur is People v. Adkin, in which 
the defendant, charged with larceny, having pleaded his in- 
ability to employ counsel, Judge Treat appointed Lincoln to 
defend. The trial, with Lincoln's kinsman, Hanks, on the 
jury, resulted in an acquittal. The only case at one term at 
Danville was Murphenheim vs. Scott, (1850), where the jury 
disagreed and the parties re-submitted the case and by agree- 


ment suffered a verdict to be entered for seven dollars and a 
half, each party to pay half the costs— a commendable com- 
promise, no doubt, and yet a meager feast to set before a 
lawyer who had traveled over a hundred miles on horseback. 
At the Fall term, 1852, at Danville, Lincoln's entire calendar 
consisted of three little cases. At Paris, the next week, his 
appearance is noted in nineteen different suits, which, for a 
term of five days, held one hundred and fifty miles from 
home, is no mean showing. 

One feature of Judge Davis' itinerant court was his "night 
sessions." The lawyers, attracted to the town by the advent 
of the court, would find time hanging heavy on their hands 
and, at the afternoon adjournment, would be notified to return 
after supper. This would bring together the best of the 
story-tellers and the most entertaining of the talkers. Some- 
times, to keep up the form of court proceedings and thus 
justify the called-session a mock trial would be had which 
would give the lawyers an opportunity for the once popular 
practical joke. It was at one of these sessions, known as the 
"orgmathorical court," that Judge Oliver Davis tried Abra- 
ham Lincoln, on the criminal side of the court, for impoverish- 
ing the bar by charging unreasonably low fees and by defend- 
ing poor clients without pay. Lincoln was released with a 
severe reprimand and a suspended sentence. 

"At these meetings," says "Uncle" Felix Ryan, of Lincoln, 
Illinois, "The lawyers would come to the court room and have 
fun together until the night was nearly gone. Many of the 
stories would be told by Mr. Lincoln. Judge Davis would sit 
there and pretend to read his docket until Lincoln would get 
him interested. I recall how Judge Davis' fat sides would 
shake with laughter as he said: 'Well, well, Mr. Lincoln, 
what next ?' " 


Squire J. T. Rudolph, of Lincoln, remembers when Judge 
Davis would call them all together as if to try cases, and the 
people of the town (Mt. Pulaski) would crowd in to enjoy an 
evening's entertainment as provided by the lawyers. Ward H. 
Lamon, (sometimes Lincoln's associate in the practice at 
Danville) was a good singer and would mount the big walnut 
table and sing and dance to the delight of everyone. 

When the night sessions were not held, the bar would 
gather at the tavern, and, doubtless, to forget the misery of 
crowded beds and unspeakable meals, would keep the talk 
going all night long. 

One of these taverns advertised, "Entertainment for Man 
and Beast," and like many of the rest discriminated in favor 
of the beast. Here decent and vulgar men mingled in admired 
confusion. Money was won and lost at cards, and stories 
hopelessly coarse had no less currency than those did whose 
wit and humor have made them immortal. To the promiscu- 
ous character of these gatherings is due no doubt the fact that 
over a half century later many stories are attributed to the 
civilized men of the company which never reached their ears. 

It was during this period that an incident occurred of 
which Judge Blodgett, for many years United States Judge, is 
said to have told. It had rained for days, and when the com- 
pany of circuit riders came to a swollen stream, apparently 
miles wide, Lincoln was the only one who knew the country 
well enough to act as guide. He saw his opportunity and 
agreed to conduct the party across if they would do exactly 
as he bade them. It was the boys' game of "follow my leader." 
The pledge was given and every lawyer had to strip, tie his 
clothes in a bundle, mount his horse, and follow on. This 
grotesque, naked company, including the cherubic figure of 
David Davis, and the giant form of Abraham Lincoln, wound 


its way up and down the stream on horseback, until, much as 
Moses led the hosts of Israel through the Red Sea without 
wetting a garment, Lincoln conducted them to dry ground on 
the farther side of what they supposed was a flood, but which 
at no time rose higher than a horse's knees. One can imagine 
Lincoln's laugh at the threats of revenge which his associates 
uttered when they found what an absurd picture they had 

In many of these towns a few old men still live who tell 
with undiminished enthusiasm their recollections of that far 
off time. Some of the communities are not unlike what 
they were seventy years ago. Petersburg is still the home of 
the Rutledges, Greens, Clarys, and Armstrongs. And all 
over the circuit it was still possible in recent years to learn 
from men who knew Mr. Lincoln of incidents in his practice 
as yet unpublished. 

"He was a very smart trial lawyer," Judge Lyman Lacey, 
of Havana, relates. "As he went along in easy fashion he ad- 
mitted evidence offered by his opponents and conceded their 
points until it looked as if he had given his whole case away. 
'I don't contest this point,' Lincoln would say. 'O ! I'll freely 
admit that.' But all the time there would be one or more strong 
lines of defense left, and, after waving aside all that he had 
yielded, he would conclude: 'But here, gentlemen, is the real 
point in this case, and on it we rest our defense.' ' 

Judge Samuel C. Parke has noted this characteristic. He 
says : "In a closely contested case, in which he was assisting 
me, in his closing speech, he was extremely liberal in his ad- 
missions in favor of the defendant. We got a verdict for 
about two-thirds of our claim. I said to him: 'Lincoln, you 
admitted too much.' 'No,' he answered, That's what gained 
the case.' " 


It is not easy to take a series of pleadings and the skeleton 
of an argument as we find them sixty years after and get 
from them any picture of the comedy or tragedy which was 
enacted when such a case was tried. Much must be left to 
the imagination. But to the imagination these old records 
sometimes suggest what may have happened. There is a case 
on the docket of Edgar County for 1850 entitled Albin v. 
Bodine, for slander. The record entries are: "Lincoln and 
Linder for defendant. Trial by jury. Verdict for defendant." 
But in the files is a faded sheet of legal cap in Lincoln's hand, 
entitled "Brief" which sets out the synopsis of points for the 
argument to the jury. And every point seems to be for the 
other side. This brief is a rare document, for its author had 
a tenacious memory and seldom used notes. Let us read some 
of these points : 

"1st. Albin stole Blady's horse out of my pasture last 
night. He is a horse thief and that is what he came here for. 

"6th. 'You know you stole that horse and it is not the 
first horse you have stolen ; and I believe you follow the busi- 

"9th. 'He is a damned little horse thief and his business 
is horse stealing, and he came here for that business and that 
is not the first horse he has stolen. He is a horse thief and 
I will send him to the penitentiary.' 

"James Murphy. Dr. Albin stole the Priest's horse out of 
my pasture. 

"Crimen falsi/' 

One theory of the defense is that the defendant said all that 
he is charged with saying — "damned horse thief" and all — 
and that his counsel in one of his scathing philippics held the 
plaintiff up to deserved contempt, or by a series of brilliant 
sallies of wit laughed the plaintiff out of court. The other 


is suggested by the two Latin words Crimen falsi at the end 
and hints at an argument charging perjury. And yet all that 
the record shows is the use of language of the most slanderous 
sort and a verdict for the defense. 

"I have sat on the jury in his cases," Mr. Ryan, of Lincoln, 
Illinois, said to me: "He knew nearly every juror, and when 
he made his speech he talked to the jurors, one at a time, like 
an old friend who wanted to reason it out with them and make 
it as easy as possible for them to find the truth." 

"He never talked long," said Mr. John Strong of Atlanta, 
Illinois, "In stating a disputed proposition he would say, not, 
This is the way it is/ but This is the way it seems to me,' 
thus allowing for an honest difference of opinion." 

Judge S. A. Foley, of Lincoln, Illinois, in an intimate ac- 
count of Lincoln, displayed a clear memory of his court-room 
manner. "When Lincoln examined a witness or addressed a 
jury, he had a peculiarly winning way of doing it. In an open- 
ing statement he seemed to take everybody into his confidence 
as though he proposed to keep nothing from them. In cross- 
examination he would first secure the witness' good will and 
then lead him gently along until he elicited from him the truth 
for which he was seeking. When he came to the argument he 
had something to say to each juror, and he led each one to 
believe that, as attorney, his only duty was to help the jury 
find the truth. Sometimes he made his point so plain with a 
story that there was no escaping his conclusion." 

Because he reasoned his cases out it is not to be supposed 
that he lacked the graces of oratory. With the little audience 
in the jury box he began by feeling his way, studying the man 
addressed, and talking rather than speaking, until he felt 
sure that he was in complete accord with the men to whose 
judgment he was making his appeal. He was first of all a 


reasoner. But he was, too, a man of wide sympathy and deep 
feeling and, once aroused, he was brilliant in ridicule, savage 
in assault, overwhelming in his emotional attack. It was the 
oratory of the forum, not the oratory of the platform or the 

Judge S. C. Parks had a large practice while Lincoln was 
riding the circuit. In a lecture before the University of 
Michigan he said : 

"He was a great advocate and more successful at the bar 
than many men who knew more law than himself. . . . For 
this there were two reasons. One was that he was naturally 
fair minded, and, as a rule, would not advocate any cause 
which he did not believe to be just. Owing to this character- 
istic he would not knowingly take a case that was wrong, and 
if he ignorantly got into such a case he would generally refuse 
to prosecute or defend it after he had ascertained his mistake. 
He was intellectually honest. He would not advocate a cause 
in which he did not believe. He was the easiest lawyer to 
beat when he thought he was wrong that I ever knew. Soon 
after beginning to practice, I was employed to defend a man 
charged with larceny and Mr. Lincoln was employed to assist 
me. I really believed at the beginning of the trial that the 
man was not guilty. But the evidence was unfavorable, and 
at its close Mr. Lincoln called me into the consultation room 
and said: 'If you can say anything that will do our man any 
good, say it. I can't. If I say anything the jury will see that 
I think he is guilty and will convict him.' And so I proposed 
to the prosecutor to submit the case without argument. This 
was done. The jury disagreed, and before the case could be 
tried again the man died. 

"In the same county Lincoln brought suit on an account 
and proved it without any trouble. Defendant's attorney then 


produced a receipt in full from the plaintiff which clearly cov- 
ered the account. Lincoln took the receipt, examined it till 
he was satisfied, and handed it back to the opposing attorney 
who proceeded to prove it; whereupon the presiding Judge 
(Treat) inquired: 'What do you say to that, Mr. Lincoln?' 
But Lincoln had quietly left the court house and gone to his 
hotel. The court sent for him, but he declined to return, say- 
ing to the sheriff : 'Tell Judge Treat that my hands are dirty 
and I want to wash them.' Owing to this habit of not advo- 
cating a bad case he had the advantage of feeling that he ought 
to gain the cases that he did advocate. He also had the advan- 
tage of having the confidence of the court and jury at the out- 
set and the fairness and skill to keep it to the close." 

The leader of this itinerant bar, without whose presence no 
gathering of men was complete, was not always to be found. 
He had a way of going off after the companionship of chil- 
dren. One of these old-time little boys described to me the 
serious way in which Mr. Lincoln would call for their opinion 
on political questions, and interrogate them regarding their 
personal hopes and ambitions, and advise with them as if he 
considered them to be men of mature judgment. He was par- 
ticularly given to trying to find what impression the young 
fellows had of his arguments and those of Douglas, seemingly 
bearing in mind the ideal of his own youth that he must make 
his meaning so plain that any boy he knew could comprehend. 
Another of these boys has told of the delicious way in which 
he talked foolishness to them as he joined in their games of 
marbles or hand ball. 

Mr. George S. Cole, of Danville, used to describe his first 
game of billiards : "Mr. Lincoln called me in to see the first 
billiard table set up in the town and said: 'Come on, Bub, 
let's play a game.' My awkwardness with the cue seemed 
to please him hugely." 


"Nothing tickled him so much," said Uncle Felix Ryan, 
"as to get a prank on the boys. Once they stretched a rope 
across the walk, just high enough to catch his plug hat. He 
pretended to be very angry and ran all over the place until he 
had caught the boys, making them think he was going to pun- 
ish them, and then took them into the store and stood treat." 

Sometimes the semi-annual session of court was the oc- 
casion of social activity of a more formal character. A re- 
ception or ball would draw the gentlemen of the bar away 
from court room and tavern and into real society. Gentlewom- 
en living sixty years after and still young in spirit, have re- 
called those occasions. They tell how Mr. Lincoln, seemingly 
careless of his appearance in the street and in court, was yet 
in society "a gentleman of the old school," who arose at once 
when a lady entered the room, and whose courtly manners 
would put to shame the easy-going indifference to etiquette 
which marks the twentieth century gentleman. One of them, 
who must has been a belle in the Fifties, told me how many 
a pretty girl would lead her escort from the dance to the card 
room because she wanted to listen to Mr. Lincoln's talk. 

Says Mr. Arnold :* "I must not omit to mention the old- 
fashioned, generous hospitality of Springfield — hospitality pro- 
verbial to this day throughout the state. Among others, I 
recall, with the sad pleasure, the dinners and evening parties, 
given by Mrs. Lincoln. In her modest and simple home . . . 
there was always, on the part of both host and hostess, a cordial 
and hearty Western welcome, which put every guest perfectly 
at ease. Mrs. Lincoln's table was famed for the excellence of 
many rare Kentucky dishes, and in season, it was loaded with 

*Isaac N. Arnold, "Reminiscences of the Illinois Bar Forty Years 
Ago"; in Fergus' Historical Series, Vol. 2, No. 14, p.137-38 (Chicago, 


venison, wild turkeys, prairie chicken, quail, and other game 
which was then abundant. Yet it was her genial manners and 
ever kind welcome, and Mr. Lincoln's wit and humor, anecdote, 
and unrivaled conversation, which formed the chief attraction." 

The court room was not the only place where the lawyers 
made themselves useful. At Decatur, when the first piano 
was brought by wagon across the prairie, the adjournment of 
court, so Mrs. Jane Johns relates, furnished an anxious young 
lady with the skilled labor required to unload the big, delicate 
instrument. It was Mr. Lincoln who superintended the re- 
moval and his strong arms that lifted one end of the piano 
while a half dozen other brawny circuit riders handled the 
other end. 

It was at this period that Lincoln wrote to his friend Speed : 
"I am so poor and make so little headway in the world that 
I drop back in a month of idleness as much as I gain in a 
year's sowing." 

That was no day for specialists. The collection lawyer of 
seventy years ago won insubstantial rewards, although he did 
not hesitate to advertise for business. Even David Davis, 
soon to enter upon a long and brilliant judicial career, adver- 
tised in 1837 in the Sangamo Journal: "Notes and accounts 
entrusted to him for collection will meet with a most prompt 
attention." And Lincoln, in collecting six hundred dollars 
from Stephen A. Douglas under circumstances embarrassing 
to both, set the "minimum fee" precedent by charging three 
dollars and a half for the service. 

A New York firm applied to Abraham Lincoln for a report 
on the financial condition of a neighbor. Mr. Lincoln replied 
as follows: "Yours of the 10th inst. received. I am well ac- 
quainted with Mr. and know his circumstances. 

First of all he has a wife and baby ; together, they ought to 


be worth $50,000 to any man. Secondly, he has an office in 
which there is a table worth $1.50 and three chairs worth, say 
$1. Last of all there is in one corner a large rat-hole, which 
will bear looking into. 

Respectfully yours, 

A. Lincoln/' 

There are in circulation many authentic stories that were 
used by Lincoln to enforce an argument at law. But they 
have all been published long ago, along with many that are 
not authentic. Two of these are no doubt familiar, but they 
will serve to show Lincoln's method. They are reported by 
Miss Tarbell in her Life of Lincoln and by Mr. Hill in his 
Lincoln the Lawyer. 

One of these is attributed to the late Judge Beckwith, of 
Danville. Lincoln was trying to make plain to the jury the 
legal effect of self-defense. "My client," he explained, ''was 
in the fix of a man who was carrying a pitchfork along the 
country road when he was suddenly attacked by a vicious dog. 
In the trouble that followed the prongs of the pitchfork killed 
the dog. 'What made you kill my dog?' the farmer cried in 
rage. 'What made him try to bite me?' 'But why didn't you 
go at him with the other end of the pitchfork?' 'Why didn't 
he come at me with the other end of the dog?' The jury saw 
what self-defense meant. 

Mr. T. W. S. Kidd, for many years court crier at Spring- 
field, says he once heard a lawyer arguing to the jury the con- 
trolling authority of precedent. When Lincoln's turn came 
to answer he took up the argument from precedent in this way : 
"Old Squire Bagley from Menard came into my office once 
and said : 'Lincoln, I want your advice as a lawyer. Has a 
man that's been elected a justice of the peace a right to issue 
a marriage license?' I told him No, and he threw himself 


back indignantly in his chair and said, 'Lincoln, I thought you 
was a lawyer. Bob Thomas and I had a bet on this thing, 
and we agreed to leave it to you, but if this is your opinion I 
don't want it, for I know a thunderin' sight better. I've been 
a Squire now eight years and I have done it all the time.' " 

He once characterized an ultra-technical judge by saying 
"He would hang a man for blowing his nose in the street, but 
he would quash the indictment if it failed to state which hand 
he did it with." 

Justice Brewer, of the United States Supreme Court, has 
given us this story of Lincoln's sincerity: 

Lincoln was defending a murder case. The act was so 
brutal, and the circumstantial evidence so complete that even 
Lincoln himself, after a most careful investigation, conceded 
that everything seemed to point to his client's guilt. He had 
thought a great deal on the case, he told the men in the jury 
box, and while it seemed probable that his client was guilty 
yet he was not sure. With those honest eyes of his he looked 
the jury in the face and said, "I am not sure. Are you?" It 
was an application of the rule of reasonable doubt which se- 
cured an acquittal. 

A Kansas lawyer wrote some years ago : "My name orig- 
inally was Patrick William Hackney, and I went by the name 
of Patrick or Tat' until we moved back to Illinois, where 
they changed it to William Patrick Hackney. My father, in 
1850, and I met Mr. Lincoln on the street as he was returning 
from the Court House at the dinner hour — the first time they 
had met since father went to Iowa. They greeted each other 
very cordially indeed; father called him 'Abe' and he called 
father 'Jake,' father's name being Jacob. Father introduced 
me to him as his son Tat.' He was very tall and very slim. 
I remember that I thought he was the homeliest man that I 


had ever seen. In the course of the conversation, after inquir- 
ing about each other, he said to father, 'I presume you know, 
Jake, I am a lawyer now.' Father said, 'Yes, I have heard 
of it.' He says: 'I am going to make a speech after dinner 
to a jury, and I wish you would come up and bring Pat with 
you.' Father told him he would. 

"Father and I went to the Court House — it was the first 
time that I had ever been in a Court House — and took our 
seats. Mr. Lincoln was there when we arrived, but the Court 
had not yet opened. Judge Davis, of Illinois, was the Judge. 
I do not remember the name of the prosecutor. He was a 
small man in stature, and as I remember, rather heavier than 
slim, with long, wavy, black hair, and it seemed to me, with a 
wonderful vocabulary. 

"The case was one in which two carpenters in a shop got 
into a dispute ; one a little fellow, and the other a large man. 
It ended in a fight, in which the big fellow whipped the little 
one, he hollowed 'nough,' and the big fellow got off, as 
was the custom of that day, from the little one, and returned 
to his bench to work with his back to where the little man 
was working before the fight commenced, and where he was 
at the end of the fight. He got up, ran to his bench, grabbed 
a big file with no handle — files at that time ran out to a sharp 
point; I have seen many of them with simply a corn, cob for 
a handle ; — he grabbed this file without any handle on it, ran 
up behind the big fellow, and stabbed him in the back with it, 
and as I recollect now, came very near killing him. The little 
fellow was being prosecuted for that, and Lincoln was defend- 
ing him. 

"When Lincoln got up to speak he was wonderfully tall, I 
thought, and spare, and as I said, very homely, but it wasn't 
but a little bit until he had the Judge, who was a very large 


man, shaking with laughter, as were the jury and the specta- 
tors, and he convinced me that the little fellow ought not to be 
convicted, but what he said to convince me, I don't remember. 

"I afterwards went to Lincoln, 111., the county seat having 
been changed from Mt. Pulaski there, to hear Mr. Lincoln 
and Douglas speak, in 1858. Our family library consisted of 
the Bible and the New York Tribune, which was a newspaper 
more than any of our neighbors had, and while I was a boy, 
I understood at that time the controversy over which the dis- 
cussion arose as well as anybody, and a great deal more than 
nine tenths of those whom I knew or associated with, and I 
went down there to hear them. The arrangement was that 
Lincoln should speak in the forenoon, on a platform fixed in 
the Court House yard — he spoke from ten to twelve o'clock. 
I remember it as one of the marvelous speeches that I have 
ever listened to in my life. While I have thought that Lincoln 
was the homeliest man that I ever saw in repose, I believed then 
and I believe now, that he was the handsomest man I ever 
listened to make a speech, when he warmed up to his subject. 
I have never read a description of Lincoln of any kind that 
came within a thousand miles of describing him in action. He 
was simply grandeur itself. 

"There was a circus in town that day from one till three, 
and it was arranged for Douglas to speak in the tent after 
the show . . . and I went for the purpose of securing a seat 
more than to see the show, because I was more interested in 
these two speeches than I was to see the show, even if I was 
a boy, and I had seen shows before. They ran a menagerie 
wagon out into the ring where the circus had been held, put a 
ladder up to it, took a small table up there, two chairs and two 
pitchers and a glass, and it was said that there was a quart of 
whiskey in one pitcher and a quart of water in the other. 


Whether true or not, I don't know, but it was accepted as a 
fact at that time and I never heard anybody question it. It 
was the first time I had even seen Douglas. He and the 
chairman to be climbed that ladder on top of that wagon ; the 
tent filled up until there was standing room for no more, and 
for three hours Douglas made one of his great speeches, and 
it was a great speech. He understood the art of appealing to 
the prejudices of his audience, and could do it successfully in 
a way that I have never heard any other man do, but boy as I 
was, knowing what I did on the questions involved, his subter- 
fuges and want of candor were so marked that I could not 
help but notice it. The difference between the two men was 
so great that anyone with a discriminating mind would be 
able to detect the difference. Lincoln was open, honest, did 
not play to the galleries, but he drove the truth home with such 
power and force that there was no way of escaping it. I think 
that Douglas as an orator, so far as rhetorical flourish is con- 
cerned, adroitness and capacity to change quickly his position 
or defend an untenable one, never had his superior in my 
judgment, but he never was a match for Lincoln one moment." 
The value which Lincoln put upon simplicity is summed up 
in the remark he made to Herndon : "If I can clear this case 
of its technicalities and get it properly swung to the jury, I'll 
win it." From this it is by no means to be inferred that he 
did not respect the requirements of the practice, or make use 
of the technical points in a case where occasion required it. 
He was a practical, well-trained lawyer, who accepted all prop- 
er employments and gave to his clients the benefit of his extra- 
ordinary mental and legal equipment. In his early struggles 
in justice's courts his discomfited opponents used to hint at 
pettifogging, and in his supreme court arguments he was will- 
ing to win on questions of practice and what careless lawyers 


call technicalities. Lawyers know that a neglect to take such 
advantage as the rules of the practice permit is a breach of the 
duty one owes to a client. And they know, too, that one who 
"plays the game" according to its rules may yet play fairly 
and honestly. 

The traditions of Lincoln's humor in the trial of his cases 
are well established. In his early practice particularly he used 
his gifts as a raconteur and a mimic most effectively in demon- 
strating his points. The evidence of this is in the reminiscences 
of his colleagues and in oral tradition. Old men of middle 
Illinois still repeat his stories. But the actual court record of 
his humor is very slight. I only know of two illustrations. 
One is a figure probably employed by him in presenting a 
point of law to the supreme court in St. Louis, etc., Railway 
Company against Dalby, 19 111., 353, and is buried in the mass 
of a profound opinion by Judge Caton at page 374. It was 
a damage case brought by Lincoln against the railway com- 
pany for assault committed in ejecting plaintiff from a car. 
The railway company contended that the corporation could 
not be liable for beating because it had no body to be beaten, 
and the court disposed of the question with this proposition — 
no doubt advanced by Lincoln : "As well might it be said that 
a man cannot commit a rape because he cannot be the subject 
of one." The other is a bill for divorce, the original of which 
is in the possession of Mr. F. R. Fisher of Terre Haute, In- 
diana. At that time no one had any good will for the negro. 
The bill is drawn in a jocular vein, referring to the defendant, 
who was a habitual drunkard, as "a gentleman of colour," and 
averring that the couple had lived together for many years, 
"though not in the highest state of connubial felicity." 

Judge Gustave Koerner, who served on the supreme bench 
in the early period of Lincoln's practice, recalls in his Mem- 


oirs, published in 1909, "the often quaint and droll language 
used by him" in his arguments in that court. 

That he had the Bible at his tongue's end, and, knowing 
its value in any appeal he might make to the sympathy, or im- 
agination, or reason of his audience, made use of it in his pub- 
lic utterances, is well known. That he made the same use of 
scripture in convincing his juries is a matter of tradition. To 
get the documentary proof of this has not been so easy. But 
in the files of the circuit court of Menard county the papers 
in Page v. Boyd, tried in 1847, afford the proof that his use 
of the Bible in his closing speech was causing his opponent 
some uneasiness. It was a damage suit against Lincoln's 
client for injuries suffered by two mares that had strayed into 
the defendant's pasture and been used by defendant while in 
his custody. In the files, hurriedly scrawled on a scrap of 
paper by plaintiff's counsel, Mr. Robbins, is the following: 

"Will the court instruct the jury that the passage from 
Exodus read by the counsel in this case does not apply in this 
suit as law?" 

This instruction is endorsed "Given." The record shows 
a verdict for plaintiff. 

The passage referred to may have been Exodus XXII-13 ; 

Any lawyer of Lincoln's ability would have accumulated a 
comfortable fortune with such a practice. When he left 
Springfield in 1861 he was fifty-two years old and the recog- 
nized leader of the Illinois bar. And yet, though living far 
from extravagantly, his entire estate was barely ten thousand 

Mr. John W. Bunn, of Springfield, a client and friend, tells 
an incident which fairly illustrates Lincoln's idea of the value 
of his own services. George Smith and Company, Chicago 


bankers, had written to Mr. Bunn to get some one to look 
after their defense in an attachment suit involving several thou- 
sand dollars. Lincoln conducted the trial and, winning it, 
charged them twenty-five dollars. They wrote back to Mr. 
Bunn: "We asked you to get the best lawyer in Springfield 
and it certainly looks as if you had secured one of the cheapest." 

For defending a damage suit at Paris involving three thou- 
sand dollars, Mr. Andrew J. Hunter says the fee charged Mr. 
Hunter's father by Usher F. Linder and Abraham Lincoln 
was fifteen dollars, paid in wild cat currency. 

The instances of his volunteer service, as in defending 
"Duff" Armstrong for murder, for friendship's sake, are not 
rare. When he had finished a case he seemed indifferent to 
any desire for adequate compensation. The joy of the contest 
had been his, and the satisfaction of having done his best. As 
for the fees, they were of little consequence. 

His charge in the defense of McCormick v. Manny, a case 
involving some of the McCormick reaper patents, valued at 
half a million dollars, was two thousand dollars, and his fee 
in the case of McLean County against Illinois Central Rail- 
road Company was five thousand dollars. His average yearly 
income when he left the practice is said to have been about 
three thousand dollars. 

When he had finished his senatorial race against Stephen 
A Douglas and paid his campaign assessment of five hundred 
dollars, he returned to take up the practice, which had become 
sadly demoralized. "It is bad to be poor," he wrote, "I shall 
go to the wall for bread and meat if I neglect my business this 
year as well as last." To eke out his income he prepared a 
lecture which he delivered at a few places. But as a Lyceum 
speaker he was as free from mercenary influences as he was 
at the law. Mr. Robert D. McDonald, of Danville, has told 


how the young men of Pontiac engaged him to lecture at the 
Presbyterian church without agreeing on terms in advance. 
"When I came to settle with the speaker out of the receipts 
from a full house, Mr. Lincoln took the first ten dollar bill I 
handed him and threw up his hands as he protested 'For Heav- 
en's sake don't give me any more ; ten dollars is all it is 
worth.' " 

Mr. James S. Ewing commenced the practice of law at 
about the time of Lincoln's election to the presidency and is 
now in the practice in Bloomington. Probably no one now 
living is better qualified from personal knowledge and under- 
standing to speak of Lincoln, the lawyer. He said :* "When 
I first knew anything of courts, it was the habit for such 
lawyers as possessed sufficient experience and ability to attract 
a clientage to follow the court around the circuit. Mr. Lincoln 
was of this number and, more than any other, was most con- 
stant in his attendance. During fifteen years I heard him try 
a great many lawsuits. Lincoln was a master in all that went 
to make up what was called a jury lawyer. His wonderful 
power of clear and logical statement seemed the beginning and 
end of the case. After his statement of the law and the facts 
we wondered either how the plaintiff came to bring such a 
suit, or how the defendant could be such a fool as to defend 
it. By the time the jury was selected, each member of it felt 
that the great lawyer was his friend, and was relying on him 
as a juror to see that no injustice was done. Mr. Lincoln's 
ready, homely, but always pertinent, illustrations, incidents, 
and anecdotes, could not be resisted. 

"Few men ever lived who knew, as he did, the main springs 
of action, secret motives, the passions, prejudices, and inclina- 

*Address at Bloomington, Feb. 12, 1909. 


tions which inspired the actions of men, and he played on the 
human heart as a master on an instrument. This power over 
a jury was, however, the least of his claims to be entitled a 
good lawyer. He was masterful in a legal argument before 
the court. His knowledge of the general principles of the law 
was extensive and accurate, and his mind so clear and logical 
that he seldom made a mistake in their application." 

The best of Lincoln's earlier biographers was Isaac N. 
Arnold, a lawyer of no mean ability, and a member of Congress 
from Illinois during the Civil War and afterwards. This is 
his estimate: 

"Lincoln was, upon the whole, the strongest jury lawyer 
in the state. He had the ability to perceive with almost intui- 
tive quickness the decisive point in the case. In the examina- 
tion and cross-examination of a witness he had no equal. He 
could compel a witness to tell the truth when he meant to lie, 
and if a witness lied he rarely escaped exposure under Lincoln's 
cross-examination. . . . His legal arguments . . . were al- 
ways clear, vigorous, and logical, seeking to convince rather by 
the application of principle than by the citation of cases. A 
stranger going into court when he was trying a cause would, 
after a few moments, find himself on Lincoln's side and wish- 
ing him success. He seemed to magnetize everyone. He was so 
straight-forward, so direct, so candid, that every spectator was 
impressed with the idea that he was seeking only truth and jus- 
tice. He excelled in the statement of his case. However 
complicated, he would disentangle it and present the real issue 
in so simple and clear a way that all could understand. Indeed, 
his statement often rendered argument unnecessary, and fre- 
quently the court would stop him and say: Tf that is the 
case, Brother Lincoln, we will hear the other side.'* His illus- 

'Isaac N. Arnold, Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 84 (Chicago, 1885). 


trations were often quaint and homely, but always apt and 
clear, and often decisive. He always met his opponent's case 
fairly and squarely, and never intentionally misstated law or 

No one knew Lincoln the lawyer better than David Davis, 
once judge of the Eighth circuit and then associate justice of 
the supreme court of the United States. He said : 

"I enjoyed for over twenty years the personal friendship 
of Mr. Lincoln. We were admitted to the bar about the 
same time and traveled for many years what is known in 
Illinois as the eighth judicial circuit. In 1848, when I first 
went on the bench, the circuit embraced fourteen counties, 
and Mr. Lincoln went with the court to every county. Rail- 
roads were not then in use, and our mode of travel was either 
on horseback or in buggies. Mr. Lincoln was transferred 
from the bar of the circuit to the office of president of the 
United States, having been without official position since 1849. 
In all the elements that constitute a great lawyer, Mr. Lincoln 
had few equals. He was great both at nisi prius and before 
an appellate tribunal. He seized the strong points of a cause 
and presented them with clearness and great compactness. His 
mind was logical and direct, and he did not indulge in extra- 
neous discussion. His power of comparison was large and he 
rarely failed in a legal discussion to use that mode of reason- 
ing. The framework of his mental and moral being was hon- 
esty, and a wrong cause was poorly defended by him. In 
order to bring into full activity his great powers, it was neces- 
sary that he should be convinced of the right and justice of the 
matter which he advocated. When so convinced, whether the 
cause was great or small, he was usually successful. He hated 
wrong and oppression everywhere, and many a man whose 
fraudulent conduct was undergoing review in a court of 
justice has writhed under his terrible indignation and rebuke." 


The wisdom of Daniel Webster was crystallized into a 
single sentence of the Gettysburg address. The poetry and 
philosophy of a thousand years of Hebrew prophecy was re- 
stated in a paragraph of the Second Inaugural. The history 
of the Constitution, in the making and after, so far as it relates 
to the slavery question, is put in an hour's argument in the 
Cooper Union oration. The faith of a student and protag- 
onist of the Constitution, that real human rights, even the 
rights under the odious slave trade are unassailable is uttered 
in the First Inaugural. Greatest of all these is the Cooper 
Union speech, where Lincoln demonstrated that the members 
of the Convention which framed the Constitution favored the 
ultimate extinction of slavery. The demonstration disclosed 
an intimate knowledge of American history that none but a 
specialist could have acquired in a life-long pursuit of the 
study. The letters, speeches, votes and official acts of 23 of 
the 39 members of the Constitutional Convention, commencing 
with the Congress of 1784 and concluding in 1820, had been 
brought out of obscure sources, no one knows where, and 
analyzed and digested by this intensive student, master of 
constitutional law, at his prairie home until he was able to 
make his demonstration, seventy years after, that the fathers 
of the Constitution at the birth of the republic had adopted the 
views as to the constitutional extinction of the slave power 
which Lincoln and his colleagues were advocating in 1860. 
The analysis covers in detail the votes of the individual mem- 
bers of the convention of 1787 as given upon the Act excluding 
slavery from the Northwest Territory in 1784. the Ordinance 
of 1787, the Act of 1789 putting the ordinance into effect. 
passed by Congress and signed by Washington, the Act or- 
ganizing Mississippi as a Territory in 1798 and Louisiana Ter- 
ritory in 1804, and finally the Missouri Compromise of 1820. 


The same scholarship shown in his application of constitu- 
tional history to the slavery question he displays as a student 
at law in his analysis of the Dred Scott decision in the Cooper 
Institute address and elsewhere. It is criticism at its best and 
it is always profound — I need only quote a sentence where he 
contrasts the position taken by the makers of the Constitution 
with that assumed by the Supreme Justices in the Dred Scott 
decision to show how clearly Lincoln, the constitutional lawyer, 
made his point: 

"And then it is to be remembered that 'our fathers who 
framed the government under which we live' — the men who 
made the Constitution — decided this same constitutional ques- 
tion in our favor long ago; decided it without division among 
themselves when making the decision ; without division among 
themselves about the meaning of it after it was made, and so 
far as any evidence is left, without basing it upon any mis- 
taken statement of facts." 

It is more than fidelity to the Constitution, as a fetish to 
worship with one's eyes closed, that Lincoln displayed in his 
handling of the crucial problem of slavery under the Constitu- 
tion; it is rather the fidelity of an apostle to his Master, who 
knows what he believes through a heart-searching intimacy. 

We have seen presidents who had not the scholarship and 
critical sense to search the Constitution for the power they 
sought to wield. We have known presidents who had not the 
patience to work out a difficult problem in statecraft under 
the wise restraint of constitutional limitations; we have heard 
of presidents who were jealous of those limitations and 
brushed aside the whole moral issue of obeying a constitutional 
oath as if to say with Mr. Dooley, "What's the Constitution 
betune friends?" Lincoln, the man of critical scholarship, of 
endless patience in constitutional research, would not commit 


the shallow folly of criticising the Supreme Court or ignoring 
the requirements of our Constitution as more than one of our 
presidents have done. 

As Lincoln wrote to Colonel Albert G. Hodges of Ken- 
tucky, April 4, 1864: 

"I am naturally antislavery. If slavery is not wrong, 
nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so 
think and feel, and yet I have never understood that the presi- 
dency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially 
upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I 
took, that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, 
and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not 
take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it my view 
that I might take an oath to get power, and break the oath in 
using the power." 

One who doubts Lincoln's erudition needs only read the 
state papers of the War President on constitutional questions. 
The language employed by Chief Justice Chase in Texas v, 
White, 7 Wall. 700, in defining the constitutional relation of 
a seceding state with the Union follows closely the theory of 
the president as advanced in his state papers and letters and 
differs radically from the dominant opinion that prevailed in 
the radical majority of the post-war congress. They were a 
part of an indissoluble union of indestructible states; their 
citizens were citizens of the United States ; secession was a 
fallacy, for the seceders were in the Union all the time.* 

In the Douglas debates, in his first inaugural address, 
and in the emergencies of the Civil War of which the Mason 
and Slidell incident is a type when he had to overrule his 
advisers and render his own final judgment, and in every 

*See Lincoln's last public address delivered on April n, 1865. 


significant utterance as president, are to be found the proof 
of the trained lawyer. With politics and history this paper 
has nothing to do. It is the country lawyer whose career we 
have been studying. To the questions, Who taught the author 
of the Gettysburg oration and the Second Inaugural? and 
Whence came that simplicity of style? we have sought our an- 
swer in the story of his career at the law, of how he began, as a 
boy, with the determination to make his thought plain, of 
the influence of his public-spirited teachers, the opportunities 
he had in the Black Hawk War and in the legislature to know 
the men who were to control public opinion in the new state, 
the value of a giant strength which enabled him to endure 
the hardships of the life on the circuit and thrive upon them, 
and how, in all these experiences, two ambitions controlled 
him — to master the study of human nature, and to express his 
thought "in language plain enough for any boy to compre- 

Men of America have erected a shrine for Abraham Lin- 
coln. Some love to recall him as he appealed to his "dissat- 
isfied fellow-countrymen" in 1861 ; others, as he dedicated the 
national cemetery at Gettysburg. To others he is to be remem- 
bered as the great emancipator. The boys who wore the blue, 
and who now wear the grey of God's providing, think of him 
as the "Father Abraham" of the armies of the Union. To 
others there comes the picture of a man of sorrows whose life 
at Washington was one long heartbreak and whose only cheer 
came when he could pardon a soldier boy. He is no less a 
man whom we see — in fancy or in memory — the simple-minded 
country lawyer, who loved the children, and who understood 
human nature as he studied it in the uncouth countrymen of a 
prairie frontier. As he stood outside the courthouse, long 
after court had adjourned, explaining things to the neighbors 


and friends who gathered to hear his talk, we can see his 
giant figure with its earnest, kindly face, traced in the twilight 
of an autumn evening against the rude brick wall, — the figure 
of Lincoln, the country lawyer, trusted and loved by all who 
knew him. 


Lincoln's cases in the Illinois Supreme Court as published 
in Frederick Trevor Hill's Lincoln the Lawyer, published by 
The Century Company, 1906. 

Scammon v. Cline, 3 Ills., 456. 
Cannon v. Kinney, 4 Ills., 9. 
Maus v. Worthing, 4 Ills., 26. 
Bailey v. Cromwell, 4 Ills., 71. 
Ballentine v. Beall, 4 Ills., 203. 
Elkin v. The People, 4 Ills., 207. 
Benedict v. Dellihunt, 4 Ills., 287. 
Abrams v. Camp, 4 Ills., 291. 
Hancock v. Hodgson, 4 Ills., 329. 
Grable v. Margrave, 4 Ills., 372. 
Averill v. Field, 4 Ills., 390. 
Wilson v. Alexander, 4 Ills., 392. 
Schlenker v. Risley, 4 Ills., 483. 
Mason v. Park, 4 Ills., 532. 
Greathouse v. Smith, 4 Ills., 541. 
Watkins v. White, 4 Ills., 549. 
Payne v. Frazier, 5 Ills., 55 
Fitch v. Pinckard, 5 Ills., 69. 
Edwards v. Helm, 5 Ills., 142. 
Grubb v. Crane, 5 Ills., 153. 
Pentacost v. Magahee, 5 Ills., 326. 
Robinson v. Chesseldine, 5 Ills., 332. 
Lazell v. Francis, 5 Ills., 421. 
Spear v. Campbell, 5 Ills., 424. 
Bruce v. Truett, 5 Ills., 454. 
England v. Clark, 5 Ills., 486. 
Johnson v. Weedman, 5 Ills., 495. 
Hall v. Perkins, 5 Ills., 548. 


Lockbridge v. Foster, 5 Ills., 569. 

Dorman v. Lane, 6 Ills., 143. 

Davis v. Harkness, 6 Ills., 173. 

Martin v. Dreyden, 6 Ills., 187. 

Warner v. Helm, 6 Ills., 226. 

Favor v. Marlett, 6 Ills., 385. 

Parker v. Smith, 6 111s., 411. 

Sticknev v. Cassell, 6 Ills., 418. 

Kimball v. Cook, 6 Ills., 423. 

Wren v. Moss, 6 Ills., 560. 

Morgan v. Griffin, 6 Ills., 565. 

Cook v. Hall, 6 Ills., 575. 

Fields v. Rawlings, 6 Ills., 581. 

Broadwell v. Broadwell, 6 Ills., 599. 

Rogers v. Dickey, 6 Ills., 636. 

Kellv v. Garrett, 6 Ills., 649. 

McCall v. Lesher, 7 Ills., 46. 

McCall v. Lesher, 7 Ills., 47. 

Wren v. Moss, 7 Ills., 72. 

Risinger v. Cheney, 7 Ills., 84. 

Eldridge v. Rowe, 7 Ills., 91. 

Frisby v. Ballance, 7 Ills., 141. 

Hall v. Irwin, 7 Ills., 176. 

City of Springfield v. Hickox, 7 Ills., 241. 

Ross v. Xesbit, 7 Ills., 252. 

Simpson v. Ranlett, 7 Ills., 312. 

Murphv v. Summerville, 7 Ills., 360. 

Traitor v. Hill, 7 Ills., 364. 

Chase v. Debolt, 7 Ills., 371. 

Smith v. Byrd, 7 Ills., 412. 

Moore v. Hamilton, 7 Ills., 429. 

McXamara v. King, 7 Ills., 432. 

Ellis v. Locke, 7 Ills., 459. 

Bryan v. Wash, 7 Ills., 557. 

Wright v. Bennett, 7 Ills., 587. 

Kincaid v. Turner, 7 Ills., 618. 

Cunningham v. Fithian, 7 Ills., 650. 

Wilson v. Van Winkle, 7 Ills, 684. 

Patterson v. Edwards, 7 Ills, 720. 


Driggs v. Gear, 8 Ills., 2. 

Edgar Co. v. Mayo, 8 Ills., 82. 

Roney v. Monaghan, 8 Ills., 85. 

The People v. Brown, 8 Ills., 87. 

Munsell v. Temple, 8 Ills., 93. 

Fell v. Price, 8 Ills., 186. 

Wright v. Taylor, 8 Ills., 193. 

Welch v. Sykes, 8 Ills., 197. 

Hawks v. Lands, 8 Ills., 227. 

Garret v. Stevenson, 8 Ills., 261. 

Henderson v. Welch, 8 Ills., 340. 

Cowles v. Cowles, 8 Ills., 435. 

Wilcoxon v. Roby, 8 Ills., 475. 

Trumbull v. Campbell, 8 Ills., £02. 

Cooper v. Crosby, 8 Ills., 506. 

Shaeffer v. Weed 8 Ills., 511. 

Anderson v. Ryan, 8 Ills., 593. 

Wright v. McNeely, 11 Ills., 241. 

Webster v. French, 11 Ills., 254. 

Adams v. The County of Logan, II Ills., 336. 

Pearl v. W T ellmans, 11 Ills., 352. 

Lewis v. Moffett, 11 Ills., 392. 

Austin v. The People, 11 Ills., 452. 

Williams v. Blankenship, 12 Ills., 122. 

Smith v. Dunlap, 12 Ills., 184. 

McHenry v. Watkins, 12 Ills., 233. 

Whitecraft v. Vanderver, 12 Ills., 235. 

Enos v. Capps, 12 Ills., 255. 

Ward v. Owens, 12 Ills., 283. 

Linton v. Anglin, 12 Ills., 284. 

Penny v. Graves, 12 Ills., 287. 

Compher v. The People, 12 Ills., 290. 

Major v. Hawkes, 12 Ills., 298. 

Webster v. French, 12 Ills., 302. 

The People v. Marshall, 12 Ills, 391. 

Dunlap v. Smith, 12 Ills., 399. 

Dorman v. Tost, 13 Ills, 127. 

Perry v. McHenry, 13 Ills, 227. 

McArtee v. Engart, 13 Ills, 242. 


Manly v. Gibson, 13 Ills., 308. 

Harris v. Shaw, 13 Ills., 456. 

Banet v. The Alton & Sangamon R. R. Co., 13 Ills., 504. 

Klein v. The Alton & Sangamon R. R. Co., 13 Ills., 514. 

Casey v. Casey, 14 Ills., 112. 

Ross v. Irving, 14 Ills., 171. 

Pryor v. Irving, 14 Ills., 171. 

Alton & Sangamon R. R. Co. v. Carpenter, 14 Ills., 190. 

Alton & Sangamon R. R. Co. v. Baugh, 14 Ills., 211. 

Stewartson v. Stewartson, 15 Ills., 145. 

Byrne v. Stout, 15 Ills., 180. 

Pate v. The People, 15 Ills., 221. 

Sullivan v. The People, 15 Ills., 233. 

Humphreys v. Spear, 15 Ills., 275. 

The People v. Blackford, 16 Ills., 166. 

Edmunds v. Myers, 16 Ills., 207. 

Edmunds v. Hildreth, 16 Ills., 214. 

Gilman v. Hamilton, 16 Ills., 225. 

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R. v. Wilson, 17 Ills., 

Browning v. The City of Springfield, 17 Ills., 143. 

Turley v. The County of Logan, 17 Ills., 151. 

Armstrong v. Mock, 17 Ills., 166. 

Booth v. Rives, 17 Ills., 175. 

Myers v. Turner, 17 Ills., 179. 

Hildreth v. Turner, 17 Ills., 184. 

Moore v. Vali, 17 Ills., 185. 

Moore v. Dodd, 17 Ills., 185. 

Loomis v. Francis, 17 Ills., 206. 

The Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. The County of Mc- 
Lean, 17 Ills., 291. 

Johnson v. Richardson, 17 Ills., 302. 

Phelps v. McGee, 18 Ills., 155. 

County of Christian v. Overholt, 18 Ills., 223. 

McConnell v. The Delaware M. S. Ins. Co., 18 Ills., 228. 

The People v. Watkins, 19 Ills., 117. 

Partlow v. Williams, 19 Ills., 132. 

Illinois Central R. R. Co. v. Morrison & Crabtree, 19 Ills., 


Illinois Central R. R. Co. v. Hays, 19 Ills., 166 

The People v. Witt, 19 Ills., 169. 

Sprague v. The Illinois River R. Co., 19 Ills., 174 

McDaniel v. Correll, 19 Ills., 226. 

The People v. Bissell, 19 Ills., 229. 

The People v. Hatch, 19 Ills., 283. 

Wade v. King, 19 Ills., 301. 

Kester v. Stark, 19 Ills,. 328. 

St. Louis, Chicago & Alton R. R. Co. v. Dalbv, 19 Ills.. 353. 

Laughlin v. Marshall, 19 Ills., 390. 

The People v. Ridgeley, 21 Ills., 65. 

Tonica & Petersburg R. R. Co. v. Stein, 21 Ills., 96. 

Trustees of Schools v. Allen, 21 Ills., 120. 

Crabtree v. Kile, 21 Ills., 180. 

Town of Petersburg v. Metzker, 21 Ills., 205. 

Young v. Ward, 21 Ills., 223. 

Smith v. Smith, 21 Ills., 244. 

Terre Haute & Alton R. R. Co. v. Earp, 21 Ills.. 291. 

Brundage v. Camp, 21 Ills., 330. 

Constant v. Matteson, 22 Ills., 546. 

Leonard v. Adm'r of Villars, 23 Ills., 377. 

Cass v. Perkins, 23 Ills., 382. 

Ritchey v. West, 23 Ills., 385. 

Miller v. Whittaker, 23 Ills., 453. 

Young v. Miller, 23 Ills., 453. 

Gill v. Hoblit, 23 Ills,, 473. 

Kinsey v. Nisley, 23 Ills., 505. 

Gregg v. Sanford, 24 Ills., 17. 

Columbus Machine Manufacturing Co. v. Dorwin, 25 Ills. 

Columbus Machine Manufacturing Co. v. Ulrich, 25 Ills. 




Architecture, early, 230, 236. 

Aurora, alarm at in Morgan's raid, 172-5. 

Belleville, established, 224, 225. 

Black Hawk war, Lincoln in, 486-7. 

Bowling Green, National road at, 215 ; county seat moved from, 225. 

Braddock's expedition, 210-211. 

Brandenburg, Ky., Kidnaping case at, 134; Morgan crosses at, 143; 
relative location of, 146; news from, 156. 

Brazil, established, 225; taverns near, 233. 

Bridgeport, tavern at, 233. 

British, contest for Ohio Valley, 209-211; course after Revolution- 
ary war, 295-7; 300-302; 310, 313, 317. 

Brookville, early water works at, 281-2. 

Bryansburg, Morgan's raid at, 148. 

Buffalo, ("Illinois cattle") plan to ship to Canada, 91, 94. 

Cambridge City, established, 224; taverns at, 231. 

Canton, Morgan's raid at, 147, 164. 

Carignan, Regiment de, soldiers settle in Canada, 106. 

Cattle, plan to transport from Illinois to Canada, 91, 94. 

Centerville, Morgan's raid at, 147. 

Central Plank Road Company, 234-5. 

Centerville, National road at, 215, 216; "boom" at, 224; mails at, 
227; taverns at, 230. 

Chevalier — significance of word, 105. 

Chickasaws, Indian tribe, French war with, 97-104. 

Cholera, in Indiana, 275-6, 284. 

Church, opposition to Columbus, 459-461. 

Civil war, stature of troops in, 367-371 ; 406, 411, 416, 419-420. 

Clay County, taverns in, 233. 

Columbia City, 307— note. 

Corydon, Morgan's raid at, 141, 142, 144, 147; fight near, 160-1; 
pillage at, 163 ; capital, 242. 

Courts, Circuit, organization of, 185. 

Cross Plains, Morgan's raid at, 148. 

Cumberland, Ind., tavern at, 232. 


538 INDEX 

Cumberland road, origin of, 209-214. See National road. 

Danville, National road at, 215. 

DePauw University, located, 225. 

Detroit, founding of, 36; siege of in 1712, 44-71. 

Diphtheria, prevention of, 291. 

Diseases, in early Indiana, 272, 275, 276, 277, 284 ; ignorance of germ 

diseases, 272-5 ; modern prevention, 289-291 ; germs carried by 

animals, 290. 
Distillery, Jenck's, 217-8. 
Dover, Morgan's raid at, 148. 

Dupont, Morgan's raid at, 144, 148, 169, 170, 171-2. 
Eagle creek, 217. 

Eel river, troubles at, 323, 329-332 ; 337, 340, 343. 
Elrod, Morgan's raid at, 148. 

English, seek trade with French Indian allies, 71-2, 87-9. 
English Prairie, 111., 246. 
Esdras, division of globe by, 460. 
Fasting and prayer, for epidemic diseases, 276. 
Finney's Ford, battle of, 170. 
Field notes, of survey of National road, 215-6. 
Fire prevention, at Vincennes, 282-3. 
Flint Island, Rebel raiders cross at, 136. 
Fort Defiance, 304 — note. 
Fort Duquesne, built, 210; abandoned, 211. 
Fort Harmar, 307, 308. 
Fort Washington, 307 — note. 
Fort Wayne, Miamis locate at site of, 71 ; called "post of Kiskakon." 

74-5; fort built at, 4, 82-3; board of health at, 279; life at in 

1790, 293-361. 
French, contest control of Ohio Valley, 209-211; early customs, 

Fort William Henry, capture of, 124-5. 
Fourth of July, early celebrations, 196 ; 261-2. 
Fox Indians, with Mascoutins, make war on French at Detroit, 

45-52 ; defeat and slaughter of, 53-66, 68-71 ; later hostility, 84. 
Freeman case, (fugitive slave) 197-8. 
"Friars of St. Andrew," 299, 342, 346. 
Friendship, Morgan's raid at, 148. 
friponne, storehouse, 352, 354. 
Frontier, stature conditions, 370-1 ; 417-8. 

INDEX 53g 

Grand Glaize, 304, 306— note, 361. 
Great Meadows, battle of, 210. 
Greencastle, National road at, 215. 
Greenfield, established, 224. 
Haiti, Columbus in, 471, 476, 479. 
Hardinsburg, Rebel raid at, 137. 
Harrison, O., Morgan's raid at, 145, 149, 177. 
Harrison Prairie, 218. 
Harristown, Morgan's raid at, 147. 

Health board, first in Indiana, 276; at Madison, 278; at Blooming- 
ton, 279; State board created, 286; work of, 287-291 
Health ordinances, 274, 275, 276. 
Henryville, Morgan's raid at, 147. 

Heredity, influence on stature, 369, 393; in Buskirk family, 425-432. 
Hinesville, Morgan's raid at, 147. 
"Hoosier," tradition of origin of word, 388. 
Illinois, Lincoln's removal to, 486 ; early life in, 487-8 ; law practice 

in, 489-535 ; cases in Supreme Court, 531-5. 
Indiana, congressional districts in 1864, 415; covered in Pope Alex- 
ander's grant to Spain, 450-1 ; Lincoln's boyhood in, 484-6. 
Indiana Central railroad, 236. 
"Indiana Gazette," quoted, 222, 277. 
"Indiana Republican," 271, 276, 278, 279, 283. 
Indiana State Medical Society, records, 271-2 ; organization. 284 : 

work of, 285-7. 
Indianans, stature of, 367-447. 

Indianapolis, Public Library, promotion of, 196; National road 
brought to, 214-5, 217; construction from, 218-220; road mac- 
adamized, 222; taverns at, 212-3; early history of, 241-267 (these 
pages are erroneously numbered 1-27, and 240 is to be added to 
each page for correct numbering) ; early diseases, 277. 
Indians, incited by British, 295-6; 310; slavery among, 310; cruel- 
ties, 313; British counsel, 317, 323, 343-6, 358-360; measurements 
of, 410. 
Iroquois Indians, western Indians urged to war on, by French. 34 ; 

troubles with, 35, 42; measurements of, 410. 
Isle of Oeufs, fisheries established at, 26. 
Isthmus of Panama, Columbus at, 476. 

Kankakee river, effort to locate Indians on. 82 ; Indians leave, 83. 
Kiskakon, Indian town, site of Fort Wayne, 74-5. 

540 INDEX 

Knightstown, established, 224; tavern at, 232. 

La Balme's defeat, 338. 

La Roche river, (i. e. the Big Miami) 74. 

Law, practice of in Illinois, 489-535. 

Lawrenceburg, Morgan's raid alarms, 172-6, 181. 

Leavenworth, Rebel raid near, 138. 

Lexington, Morgan's raid at, 144, 146, 147, 167, 169. 

Licking river, 307. 

Logan, Morgan's raid at, 148. 

Losantiville, 307. 

Madison, first health ordinance, 275; board of health, 276; cholera 
at, 276-7; water works, 279-281. 

"Madison Courier," 271, 281. 

Magnetic needle, declination of noted by Columbus, 465. 

Mails, early, 227. 

Marietta, O., 242, 307, 308. 

Marion County, early court of, 185-6 ; court house, 188 ; early bar, 
189 ; later members, 207. 

Marion County Medical Society, 283. 

Mascoutins, Indian tribe, beseige Detroit in 1712, 45-52; defeat and 
slaughter of, 53-66, 68-71. 

Mauckport, Morgan's raid begins at, 149, 150; houses pillaged, 154; 
fight near, 159. 

Maumee river, Miamis locate on, 71 ; portage, 301, 307. 

Medical societies, state, 271-2, 284 ; earliest organization, 283. 

Memphis, Ind., Morgan's raid at, 147, 165-6, 167. 

Mexican war, stature of troops in, 403-4. 

Miamis, Indians, illicit sales of liquor to, 35-39 ; Sieur de Vincennes 
with, 35-9 ; troubles with Iroquois, 40-3 ; aid French at Detroit 
45, 50-61 ; locate on Maumee, 71 ; friendly to French, 72-3 ; de- 
fection of La Demoiselle, 74-5. 

Miamitown, (site of Fort Wayne) 300-302, 305. 

"Miasm," 272. 

Milan, Morgan's raid at, 148, 174. 

Mill Creek, taverns at, 233. 

Mingan, fort at, 27; grant of Fief, 29; lease to Louis Jotliet, 30; 
contest over title, 77-8. 

Mississinewa river, 344. 

Monroe County Grenadiers, 423-5. 

Moore's Hill, Morgan's raid at, 148, 174, 177. 

INDEX 541 

Morgan's raid in Indiana, 133-183; preceding troubles, 133-9; shack- 
elford's account, 141; General Hobson's account, 142-3; 
Duke's account, 143-5; Morgan's forces, 145; route followed, 
146-9; nature of country raided, 150-2; beginning of, 153-6; 
preparations for defense, 157-8; details of raids, 159-178; cosl 
to state, 182. 

Mosquitos, as disease carriers, 290. 

Mt. Jackson, tavern at, 232-3. 

Music, early, at Indianapolis, 249-252; at Fort Wayne, 314-5. 

Muskackatuck river, Morgan's raid reaches, 148. 

Napoleon, Morgan's raid at, 148, 174. 

National road, grows out of Cumberland road, 209-14; course 
altered in Indiana, 214-5; surveys in Indiana, 216-7; appropria- 
tions for, 218, 237 ; construction, 219-222 ; travel on, 111--. ; 
towns on, 222-5 ; mail coaches, 226-9 ; taverns, 230-4 ; disposal 
of, 235-7; field notes of survey, 215-6. 

Natt, Indian flag, 359. 

New Albany, kidnaping case at, 134; in Morgan's raid, 151. 

New Alsace, Morgan's raid at, 148, 177. 

New Amsterdam, disloyalty at, 139. 

Newburg, Rebel raid at, 134-5. 

New Philadelphia, Morgan's raid at, 147. 

New Purchase, 243. 

Ohio, admission to Union, 212. 

Ohio Land Company, 209-210. 

Orleans, Rebel raid at, 137. 

Osgood, Morgan's raid at, 148, 174. 

Ottagamies. See Fox Indians. 

Ottawas, Indian tribe ; affront French, 41. 

Ouabache, name applied to Ohio river below mouth of Wabash, 
87, 89. 

Outagamies. See Fox Indians. 

Ouyatanons. See Weas. 

Palmyra, Morgan's raid at, 147. 

Pani, defined, 310. 

Paris, Morgan's raid at, 147, 165. 

Parrakeet, former Indiana bird, 321. 

Patent medicines, 285-6. 

Piankeshaws, Miami Indian tribe, led to Post Vincennes, 90, 9., 
96; return to Vermillion river, 104. 

542 INDEX 

Pierceville, Morgan's raid at, 148, 175. 

Plainfield, established, 224 ; tavern at, 233 ; Henry Clay at, 234. 

Pogue's creek, 217. 

Point Levy, Canada, Bissot's mill at, 23 ; tannery at, 27. 

Pont Audemer, France, place of origin of Sieurs de Vincennes, 9-11. 

Port a Choix, industries at, 30. 

Prairie du Masque, 304. 

Public health, sanitary measures of past century, 271-291. 

Putnamville, established, 224 ; growth, 225 ; tavern at, 233. 

Railroads, Indiana, in 1863; 151-2; in 1851, 235-6; proposed sub- 
stitute for National road, 221-2. 

"Rebecca," British vessel, 347. 

Richmond, National road at, 215, 216; taverns at, 230. 

Richmond, Va., 242. 

River a l'Anguille. See Eel river. 

River aux Ecorse, 303. 

River Huron, 303. 

River Raisin, 303, 304. 

Roche de Bout, 304. 

Ruisseau de Rioll, 327. 

St. Joseph's river, effort to locate Indians on, 82; town on, 307. 

St. Mary's river, 306; town on, 307; conditions at Miamitown, 315, 
327, 332, 346-353, 354, 358. 

Salem, Morgan's raid at, 144, 147, 163-4, 168. 

Salisbury, Morgan's raid at, 161. 

Salisbury, former town, 215. 

Sanitation. See Public health. 

Science, of Columbus, 450-480 ; mediaeval geography, 456, 477. 

Sears' New Family Recipe Book, quoted, 278. 

Shishequia, Indian rattle, 345. 

"Side judges," defined, 185. 

Slaves, fugitives, law governing, 197-8. 

Soldiers, measurements of, 402-420, 433-9. 

Sonnontouans, (Seneca tribe of Iroquois) 38. 

Southern national road, suggested, 213. 

Spain, interest in discoveries of Columbus, 450-2, 459, 463, 469, 
472-3, 475-6, 480. 

Spanish, danger of western alliance with, 211. 

Spanish-American war, stature of Indiana troops in, 433-7. 

Spoon river, navigable, 495. 



State Board of Health, created, 286; work of, 287-291 

"State Road," 215-6. 

Stature, comparative, of Indianans, 367-447; theories of $67-372 

404-413, 417-9. 
Steamboat, Alice Dean, captured by Morgan raiders, 151-3- burned 

Steamboat, Grey Eagle, intercepted by Rebels, 153. 
Steamboat, Izetta, fires on Rebels, 138. 
Steamboat, J. T. McComb, ferries Morgan's troops across Ohio 

river, 145, 151-4, 156. 
Steamboat, Robert Hanna, 220-1. 
Stilesville, established, 224, 225. 
Sugar making, 264-5. 
Sunday School, early, 261-2, 264. 
Sunman, Morgan's raid at, 144, 148, 174-5. 
Superstitions, mediaeval as to earth, 461. 
Survey of National road in Indiana, 215-8. 
Tadoussac, Canada, fisheries company, 25. 
Taverns, in Indiana, 230-4, 248-9, 251-2, 258, 259. 
Teatiky, (See Kankakee) 82. 
Terre Haute, National road at, 217-220; mails at, 227; taverns at, 

Terre Haute & Indianapolis railroad, 235. 
Theatre, first in Indianapolis, 258. 

Tippecanoe, origin and corruption of name, 322; troubles at, 323 
Tsonnontouans, (Seneca tribe of Iroquois) 40, 124. 
"Two per cent, fund," 212. 
Vandalia, 111., National road ends at, 218. 
Vandalia, Ind., former town, 215, 224. 
Vernon, Morgan's raid at, 144, 147, 148, 169, 170. 
Versailles, Morgan's raid at, 148, 158, 172, 174. 
Vienna, Morgan's raid at, 144, 147, 165, 166. 
Vigo County, National road in, 221. 
Vincennes, Canadian fief, described, 6-7; original grant of. 2b. 29, 

Vincennes, Ind., identity of founder of, 3-126; bibliography of, 127; 

founding of, 89-94; letters from founder, 92-97; troops trom m 

Chickasaw war, 98-105; capital, 242; health conditions. 273; 

health ordinance, 274; fire prevention, 282-3; common name. 

322 ; Indians watch, 349-360 ; council at. 360. 

544 INDEX 

Vital statistics, first in Indiana, 276; state collection of, 287-8. 
Wabash river, French desire post on, 85-90; confused with lower 

Ohio, 87, 89; National road crossing, 218; bridge over, 221. 
Washington County, unusual stature in, 367-447 ; account of by 

Morris, 373-402; account of by Stevens, 440-7. 
Water works, first at Madison, 279; at Brookville, 281. 
Watling's Island, discovery by Columbus, 465, 480. 
Wayne County Turnpike Co., 235. 
Weas, Miami Indian tribe, locate on Wabash, 83; French influence 

on, 84, 88; led to Post Vincennes (Piankeshaw tribe) by Sieur 

de Vincennes, 90 ; Sieur de Linquetot with, 104. 
Weisburg, Morgan's raid at, 148. 
"Western National road." See National road, 214. 
"Western Sun," 271, 273, 282. 

Wheeling, W. Va., travel at, 213 ; road west from, 214. 
Whetzell's settlement, 243. 
White Lick creek, 217. 

White river, National road bridge over, 220-1. 
Whitewater, 217. 
Women, frontier life of, 247; early customs at Fort Wayne, 299, 314, 

318-9, 321, 328, 333-5, 337, 343, 353. 
World war, stature of American troops in, 437-9. 
Zanesville, National road at, 215; tavern at, 230. 


Abbott, James, 316, 327, 334, 340, 
354, 357. 

Abbott, Elizabeth, 316. 

Adams, William, 281. 

Adhemar, Mr. and Mrs., 306, 
309, 310, 313, 314, 315, 316, 
317, 318, 319, 321, 325, 328, 
333, 334, 335, 337, 338, 339, 
434, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 
354, 355, 357, 360. 

Allen, Saul, 282. 

Allison, , 279. 

Alspaugh, David M., 396. 

Ames, Bishop E. R., 259. 

Armstrong, Duff, 521. 

Armstrong, Capt. John, 306. 

Arnold, Isaac N., 486, 501, 512. 

Aton, John, 388. 

Baby, Duperron, 324, 348. 

Baker, Conrad, 207. 

Baker, Sen. Edward D., 494. 

Baker, Henry, 387. 

Barbour, Lucian, 189, 196, 197. 

Baril, Indian chief, 74-5. 

Barnett, Adam, 388. 

Barnett, Harry, 397. 

Barthelemy, Mr. and Mrs., 311, 
317, 333, 349, 350. 

Basye, Lismund, 256. 

Bates, Hervey, 254. 

Bates, Mrs. Hervey, 253-4. 

Baxter, Dr. J. H., 367-9, 370, 

Beaconfield, Lord, quoted, 291. 

Beckwith, Judge H. W., 514. 

Beers, P., stage line of, 226. 

Begin, Louis, 24. 

Benac, Capt. J. Porlier, 303, 304. 

Benac, Pierre, marries Marie 
Charlotte Bissot, 16; buys 
land, 29. 

Bennett, J. B., 500. 

Berry, Wm. F., Lincoln's part- 
ner, 488. 

Beste. J. Richard, 235. 

Bienville, Gov., quoted. 95-7 • 
declares war on Chickasaw-' 
98; defeated. 99; quoted, KM. 

Birkbeck, Morris, 371. 

Bissonet, Francois, buvs lands 
of Bissot, 44. 

Bissot, Angelique, marries Jean 
Baptiste Poitevin de la Sal- 
nionais, 20. 

Bissot, Catherine, marries Eti- 
enne Charest, 14. 

Bissot, Catherine (2), 18. 

Bissot, Charles Francois, mar- 
riage, 16; sketch of, 28-31. 

Bissot, Charlotte, marries 
Jacques de Lafontaine de Bel- 
cour, 19. 

Bissot, Claire Charlotte, becomes 
nun, 17. 

Bissot, Claire Francois, marries 
Louis Jolliet, 14. 

Bissot, de la Riviere Francois, 
marriage, 11; children, 12-17; 
sketch, 21-28; grantee of fief 
of Vincennes, 28. 

Bissot, Francois Etienne. 19. 

Bissot, Francois Joseph, marries 
Marie Lambert Dumont, 19 ; 
sketch of, 76-80. 

Bissot, Francois Marie, Sieur de 
Vincennes, takes the name of 
Margane, 3 ; son of Jean Bap- 
tiste Bissot, 17; children of. 
18 ; record of birth. 81 ; sketch. 
81-105 ; with the Ouyatanons. 
83-4; establishes Post Vin- 
cennes, 90 ; letters from, 92-4 ; 
joins in war on Chickasaws. 
97, 99; date of death. 101-3; 
salary, 91. 

Bissot, Genevieve, marries Louis 
Maheu, 12; breach of promise 
suit, 13. 

Bissot, Guillaume, 15. 



Bissot, Jean, 19. 

Bissot, Jeanne, marries Philippe 
de Valrennes, 18. 

Bissot, Jean Baptiste, Sieur de 
Vincennes, marries Marguer- 
ite Forrestier, 17; sketch of, 
31-75 ; illicit liquor trade, 35- 
42 ; pardoned, 43 ; services at 
seige of Detroit, 45-70; locates 
at site of Fort Wayne, 71-2; 
dies and is buried there, 73-5 ; 
early station with Miamis, St. 
Joseph river, 38-9 ; record of 
marriage, 80. 

Bissot, Jean Francois, 12. 

Bissot, Joseph, 19. 

Bissot, Louise, wife of Seraphin 
Margane de Lavaltrie, 12. 

Bissot, Louise, 20. 

Bissot, Louise Claire, marries 
Jean Fournel, 19. 

Bissot, Marguerite Catherine, 18. 

Bissot, Marie, marries (1) 
Claude Porlier, and (2) 
Jacques Gourdeau, 15. 

Bissot, Marie (2), 20. 

Bissot, Marie Charlotte, marries 
Pierre Benac, 16. 

Bissot, Marie Charlotte (2), 
marries Jean Pierre Francois 
Verderic, 20. 

Bissot, Marie Louise, marries 
Nicolas Boisseau, 17. 

Bissot, Michel, 18. 

Bissot, Pierre, 18. 

Black Bird, 344, 346. 

Blake, James, 232, 249, 250, 256. 

Blake, Mrs. James, 250. 

Blanchet, Joseph, 305. 

Blodgett, Judge H. W., 506. 

Bloomfield, Lot, 259. 

Blue Jacket, Shawnee chief, 328, 
333, 335, 353. 

Blythe, Benj. I., 245, 257. 

Bobadilla, Francisco, sends Co- 
lumbus in chains, 475 ; death 
of, 476. 

Bolton, Nathaniel, 232-3. 

Bolton, Sara T., 232-3. 

Bonaparte, Jerome, 245. 

Boone, Daniel, 385. 

Bowles, Dr. Wm. A., 139. 

Braddock, Gen. Edward, 210. 

Bradley, Mrs. Henry, 249. 

Bracken ridge, John, 485. 

Bradley, John H., 189. 

Breeden, Bryant, misleads Rebel 
raiders, 138. 

Brenton, Rev. Robert, 261. 

Brewer, Justice David J., 515. 

Brock, Alexander, 397. 

Brooks, Dr. W. H., 279. 

Brough, John, 378, 440, 444. 

Brown, Adam, 303. 

Brown, Edmund R., Dept. Com. 
G. A. R, 421. 

Brown, Hiram, 189. 

Brown, Howard, 390. 

Browning, Edmund, 232. 

Browning, Orville H., 494, 503. 

Buckner, , 255. 

Buffkins, John C, 206. 

Bunch, John, 412, 413. 

Bunn, John W., 520. 

Burton, Clarence M., 299. 

Bush, Rev. George, 263. 

Buskirk, Capt. David V. ("tallest 
man in the Union army"), 367, 
412, 422, 423; sketch, 425-432; 
children of, 427. 

Buskirk, Judge George A., 429, 

Buskirk, Isaac (Van), revolu- 
tionary soldier, 428-9. 

Buskirk, Lieut. Isaac, 366, 430. 

Buskirk, Sergt. John, 366, 430. 

Buskirk, Judge Samuel, 429. 

Butler, Amos, 282. 

Butler, John M., 207. 

Butler, Ovid, 189, 192, 194, 259. 

Cadwalader, David, 396. 

Calhoun, John, 488. 

Callaway, James H., 394. 

Callaway, Micajah, 385-6, 394. 

Callaway, Noble, 394. 

Campbell, Maria, 430. 

Cannehous, Jean, 330. 

Captain John, Indian, 265. 

Capt. Johnny, Shawnee chief, 
312, 314, 340, 354. 



Carr, George W., 197 
Carter, Mrs. Thos., 257, 258 
Caven, John, 189, 196. 
Celoron de Blainville, Pierre Jo- 
seph, expedition of in 1749, 

Celoron, Capt, 317, 319, 325 
328, 333 y 334, 335, 349. 

Chachagouache (i e. the Garter 
Snake), Indian chief, 66 

Chapin, Dr. Charles V., 287. 

Charest, Etienne, marries Cath- 
erine Bissot, 14; buys lands of 
Jean Baptiste Bissot, 33. 

Chase, Salmon P., 527. 

Charles, Samuel, 217. 

Chevalier, Pierre, 297, 348. 

Chinn, Miss Patsy, 252, 253. 

Cicott, Mr. and Mrs., 335, 336, 
337, 340, 341, 342, 348, 349, 
350, 352, 358. 

Clairemont, Pierre, 331, 343, 348. 

Clark, Gen. Geo. Rogers, 211, 
300, 306. 

Clark, George, 396. 

Clark, Marston G., 386. 

Clay, Henry, and National road, 
213; at Richmond, 230; at 
Plainfield, 234; estimate of, 

Coburn, Gen. John, 197. 

Coe, Dr. Isaac, 263, 264. 

Coffin, James, 388. 

Cole, George S., 511. 

Collins, Andrew, 276. 

Colgrove, Gen. Silas, 412, 425, 

Columbus, Christopher, contract 
with Ferdinand and Isabella, 
451, 452; education of, 453-7; 
marriage, 455 ; not aided by 
Portgual or England, 457-8 ; 
appeal to Spain, 459-464; first 
voyage, 464-470; knowledge of 
ores and spices, 469 ; second 
voyage, 470-2 ; third voyage, 
472-5 ; fourth voyage. 476-9 ; 
ingratitude to, 475, 479 ; men- 
tal attainments, 480. 

Columbus, Ferdinand, 452 

Compton, Dr. John W. 287 

Conner, Alexander H 204-i 

Conner, William, 205. 

Cool, Dr. Jonathan, 263 

Cory Judge Samuel, 186, 

Louillard, Marie, 11. 

Coustan, Jean, 331. 

Couture, Guillaume, interpreter 
partner of Bissot de !a ki 
viere, 22, 23. 

Cravens, Rev. Wm., 248, 381-2 

Crumbaugh, Jacob R., 261. 

Curry, Pliram W., 259. 

Curry, John, 388. 

Cutshaw, Townsend, 395. 

D'Ailleboust de Argenteuil. ad- 
venture of, 109-10. 

Dartaguiette, Commandant in 
Illinois, 96; summoned t<> 
Chickasaw war, 97-8; killed 

Davis. Judge David, 503, : 
505, 506, 513, 516, 524. 

Davis. Oliver L., 503, 505. 

Dawalt, Commodore, 397. 

Dawalt, James D.. 397. 

De Boisbriand, Dugue. urges 
post on Wabash, 85 ; instruc- 
tions to, 86. 

De Catalogne. Gedeon, qu »te !. 

Deer, The, Indian, 314. 

De Lafontaine de Gelcour. 
Jacques, marries Charlotte 
Bissot, 19. 

De Lauzon, Gov. Jean. 24. 

De Linquetot, Sieur, command? 
"among Miamis and Oeyata- 
nons," 104. 

Demoiselle, Indian chief, 74-5 

Denney, Claborne, 397. 402. 

Denney, Flanders, 397. 402. 

Denney. Harrison. 395. 

Denney, Joel, 395. 

Denney, Joseph, 395. 

Denney. Thomas, 378-9, 44 - 

Dennis, D?vid, 388. 



De Ramezay, Gov. of Montreal, 
quoted, 35. 

Desgly, Ensign, 87, 100. 

De Valrennes, Philippe Clement 
du Valult, marries Jeanne 
Bissot, 18. 

De Vaudreuil, Gov., quoted, 38, 
40-4, 82-4. 

De Walt, Col. Henry, 387. 

Dillon, John B., 189, 193, 196, 

Dinwiddie, Gov. Robert, 210. 

Dorsev, Hazel, Lincoln's teach- 
er, 485. 

Doughty, Major John, 308. 

Douglas, Stephen A., 494, 499, 
513, 517, 518, 527. 

Dowling, Dr. W. H., 284. 

Drouet de Richardville, 100. 

Dubois, L., 359. 

Du Buisson, Sieur, commands 
at Detroit, 44, 69 ; report on 
siege, 45-71 ; commands at 
Post Miamis, 72, 82. 

Duckworth, Col. John, 447. 

Dufresne, Mr. and Mrs., 323, 
327, 329, 3, 35, 39, 348, 53. 

Duke, Gen. Basil, quoted, 136, 
143-5, 166-7 ; commands under 
Gen. Morgan, 156, 171. 

Dumay, Jacques, 330. 

Dunlap, Dr. Livingston, 263. 

Du Poisson, Father Paul, quot- 
ed, 16. 

Du Tisne, Ensign, 100, 121-2. 

Dye, John T., 207. 

Elder, Dr. E. S., 287. 

Elliott, Byron K., 207, 232. 

Elliott, Matthew, 306. 

Elliott, Gen. W. J., 232. 

Ellsworth, Henry W., 207. 

Elrod, Eli, 395. 

Evans, Dr. John, 279. 

Ewing, James S., 522. 

Ferguson, Kilby, 196. 

Finch, Fabias M., 207. 

Filson, John, 307. 

Fishback, Wm. P., 202, 207. 

Fisher, F. R., 519. 

Fleenor, Abram, 388. 

Fletcher, Calvin, 189, 192, 193, 
201, 251, 259, 260. 

Fletcher, Mrs. Calvin, notes 
from diary of, 247-267. 

Fletcher, Miles, 264. 

Flood, Dr. Jonathan, pursues 
Gen. Morgan, 179-180. 

Foot, Obed, 259, 261. 

Fordham, Elias Pym, 245-6. 

Forestier, Marie Madeline, god- 
mother of Sieur de Vincennes, 

Forsythe, J., 354. 

Fouche, 332. 

Fournel, Jean, marries Louise 
Claire Bissot, 19. 

Frontenac, Count, speech to In- 
dians, 34; quoted, 108; sends 
messages, 109-10. 

Furnas, John, 217. 

Gamelin, Pierret, notary at Vin- 
cennes, 359. 

Gates, Uriah, 252. 

Gibson, Hugh, 275. 

Girty, George, 16, 339, 357. 

Girty, James, 316, 340, 345. 

Girty, Simon, 316. 

Glenn, Rev. Peter, killed in 
Morgan's raid, 159. 

Godfroy, Jacques, 330. 

Godman, T. J., 281. 

Good, Richard, 259. 

Gooding, David, w o u n d e d, in 
Morgan's raid, 182. 

Goodwin, Septemas, 388. 

Gordon, Isaac, 394. 

Gordon, Jonathan W., 204-5. 

Gorman, Charles, 402. 

Gould, Dr. B. A., 367-369, 402- 
13, 414, 417. 

Green, Richard, 402. 

Gregg, Harvey, 259. 

Gregory, Col. Samuel O., 412. 

Griffith, Dr., 216-7. 

Gros Loup (Mohican Indian), 

Guay, Jean, 23. 

Guion de Rouvray, Joseph, 30. 

Gurley, Rev. Phineas D., 263. 

Guyon, Simon, 25. 


- ■■ 

Hack, Mrs. Oren S. (Elizabeth 
Miller), article by, 450-480. 

Hackney. Wm. Patrick, 515. 

Hall, Reginald, 207. 

Hamilton, Col. Henry, 317. 

Hammond, Gov. Abraham A., 

Hammond, Rev. Rezin, 248. 

Hardin, John J., 494. 

Harding, Robert, 260. 

Harmar, Gen. Josiah, 302, 308. 

Harris, Addison C., 207. 

Harrison, Benjamin, 207. 

Harrison, Christopher, 244-6. 

Harrison, Wm. H., 234. 

Harvey, Jonathan S., 189. 

Hattabaugh, George, 387. 

Hattabaugh, William, 395. 

Hawkins, John, 259, 261. 

Hawn, Dr. E. R., 287. 

Hay, Henry, 294 ; identity of, 
299 ; mission to Miamitown, 
300; journal of, 303-361. 

Hay, Major Jehu, captured by 
Gen. Clark, 300. 

Hay, John, 315. 

Heffren, Delos, 393. 

Heffren, Horace, 393. 

Henderson, Dr. Harvey D., 396. 

Henderson, Samuel, 232. 

Hendricks, Abram W., 207. 

Hendricks, Thomas A., 207. 

Herndon, Archie G., 498. 

Herndon, William H., Lincoln's 
partner, 491, 498, 500, 518. 

Hill, Frederick Trevor, 492, 514, 

Hester, C. P., 279. 
Heth, William, killed in Mor- 
gan's raid, 160. 
Hiestand, Isaac H., 395. 
Hill, Robert, 216. 
Hines, Capt. Thomas, Rebel offi- 
cer, invades Indiana, 135-9. 
Hix, Richard, 394. 
Hobbs, Elisha, 388. 
Hobbs, Wm., 388. 
Hobson, Gen. Edward, report of 
Morgan's raid, 142-3 ; at 
Mauckport, 151, 154-5, 156; 

pursuit of Morgan, 163, 175. 

Hodge, Prof. Hugh Lenox, 273, 

Hodges, Col. Albert G., 527. 

Hodges, Mrs. Laura F., 240. 

Hogden, , 251. 

Holliday, Rev. Wm. A., 263. 

Holmes, Dr. Oliver Wendell, 
273, note. 

Holmes, Wm., 217. 

Hord, Oscar B., 207. 

Horse Jockey (Indian), 343. 

House, John H, 397. 

Housh, Andrew, 384-5. 

Housh, George, 384. 

Howe, Judge D. W., quoted, 243. 

Howland, Caroline, 198. 

Howland, Hewitt, 198. 

Howland, John D., 189, 196, 198. 

Howland, Louis, 198. 

Hubbard, Rev. Aaron, 379-381. 

Huddleston, , tavern, 231. 

Hunter, Andrew J., 521. 

Hurty, Dr. J. N., 287, 288. 

Huston, Alexander, 388. 

Huston, Benjamin, 388. 

Huston, Samuel, 388. 

Ironside, George, 319, 321, 325, 
334, 336, 339, 342, 344, 347, 
350, 351, 353, 356. 

Isabella, Queen of Spain, be- 
friends Columbus, 451, 459, 
463, 476. 

Jameson, Dr. Patrick, 279. 

Jamison, Wm. G., 395. 

Jefferson, Thomas, 212, 213. 

Jenck's distillery, 217-8. 
Jennings, Jonathan, bill locating 
National road, 215 ; and early 
Indianapolis, 241. 245. 
Johns, Mrs. Jane, 513. 
Johnson, Adam P., Rebel guer- 

rila , invades Indiana, 134-5. 
Johnson, Gen. Bushrod, in Mor- 
gan's raid, 156. 
Johnson, Homer. 218. 
Johnson, Capt. Zephaniah, 38S. 
Joliet, Louis, marries Claire 
Francoise Bissot, 14; partner 



of Charles Francois Bissot, 

29; leases seignory of Min- 

gan, 30 ; guardian of Jean 

Baptiste Bissot, 32 ; partner- 
ship, 76. 
Jones, Peter, 282. 
Judkins, Dr. Wm, 286. 
Kemp, Godlove, 388. 
Ketcham, Mrs. Jane M., 263. 
Ketcham, Col. John, 200. 
Ketcham, John L., 189, 196, 197, 

Kidd, T. W. S., 514. 
King, Dr. A. W., 382, 384, 390, 

King, Dr. W. F., paper on "One 

Hundred Years in Public 

Health in Indiana," 268-291. 
Kinzie, John, 310, 311, 314, 315, 

316, 318, 319, 321, 324, 341, 

342, 345, 346, 347, 350, 351, 

353, 355, 358, 359. 

Kirk, , 279. 

Kissis (i. e. The Sun), Indian 

chief, 62. 
Knight, Jonathan, commissioner 

for National road, 215, 220. 
Koerner, Judge Gustave, 519. 
Kopp, Capt. Peter, 366, 424-5, 

La Balme, Col. Mottin de, 306, 

Lacey, Judge Lyman, 507. 
Lafontaine, Louis de, 11, 12. 
La Fontaine, Francois, 297, 338, 

339, 350, 353. 
La Lache (Indian), 329, 331. 
Lalande, Gay on Jacques de, 11. 
Lambert, Eustache, 24. 
Lamon, Ward H., 506. 
Lamoureux fils, 331. 
Lamothe, Cadillac, charges 

against Sieur de Vincennes, 

35-8, 39. 
Lamoureux, 330. 
Lamyma, should be Lamwa, i. e. 

The Dog), Indian chief, 46, 

Lapp, Peter, mill burned in 

Morgan's raid, 159. 

Las Casas, quoted, 452, 453, 

457, 466, 476. 
Lasselle, Antoine, 297, 322, 323, 

326, 327, 330, 332, 333, 343, 

Lasselle, Baptiste, 318, 334, 336, 

337, 342, 346; married, 349, 

352, 353. 
Lasselle, Coco, 329, 330, 353. 
Lasselle, Francois, 337, 342, 346, 

Lawler, John C, 395. 
Lee, James, 379, 440, 443. 
Li'Enfile, Martin, 23. 
Le Gardeur de Courtmanche, Lt. 

Augustin, 112. 
Le Gris (Indian chief), 311, 313, 

316, 320, 321, 323, 324, 326, 

327, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 
336, 337, 355. 

Leith, George, 303, 305, 319, 323, 
325, 332, 334, 342, 343, 344, 
347, 350, 351, 353, 355, 356, 

Le Jollie (Indian), 327. 

Le Petit, Father M a t h u r i n , 
quoted, 102. 

Levering, Julia Henderson, 228. 

Levington, Noah, 255. 

Lincoln, Abraham, boyhood in 
Indiana, 484-6 ; early life in 
Illinois, 486-9; law studies, 
489-490 ; cases in Supreme 
Court, 492, 531-5 ; partnerships 
of, 495-8 ; descriptions of, 500- 
502; life on the circuit, 503- 
511; hospitality of, 512; fees 
of, 513, 521 ; anecdotes of, 514- 
6; debate with Douglas, 517- 
8 ; style of argument, 519-25 ; 
student of constitution, 526-7; 
kindliness of, 528-9. 

Linder, Usher F., 503, 508, 521. 

Liston, Jonathan A., 189. 

Little Egg (Indian), 331. 

Little, John, 232. 

Little Turkey (Indian), 327. 

Little Turtle (Indian), intro- 
duces inoculation for small- 



pox, 278; sketch, 309, 320, 321, 

324, 327, 328, 355. 
Logan, Col. Ezekiel D., 387. 
Logan, Gen. John A., 494. 
Logan, Garrett W., 388. 
Logan, Judge Stephen T., Lin- 
coln's partner, 491, 496-8, 503. 
Loizel, Toussaint, quoted, 101. 
Longpre, Philippe, father-in-law 

of Sieur de Vincennes, 18. 
Lorraine, 350, 356, 357. 
Love, Gen. John, 192. 
Luck, Benjamin, 395. 
McCarmic, Dr. Andrew S., 286. 
McCarty, Enoch, 282. 
McCarty, Nicholas, 257. 
McClernand, Gen. John A., 494. 
McClung, Rev. John, 260-1. 
McCormick, Arthur, 304. 
McCormick, John, 242, 248. 
McCulloch, Hugh, 221. 
McDonald, David, 207. 
McDonald, Jos. E., 207. 
McDonald, trader at Grand 

Glaize, 304-5, 341, 361. 
McFarland, Demas, 262. 
McGeorge, Samuel, 248-9. 
Maclntire, Thomas, 263. 
McKee, Alexander, Indian 

agent, 297, 316, 317, 324, 340. 
McKee, Thomas, 350. 
McLean, Justice John R., 492. 
McVey. Hugh O'Neal, 204. 
Macy, David, 189. 
Maisonville, Toop, 330. 
The Snake (Indian), 333, 353, 

354, 357. 
Major, Judge Stephen, 198. 
Makatemangouas (i. e. Black 

Loon), Indian chief, 45-6. 
Makisabie, Indian chief, 49, 66. 
Makouandeby, Indian chief, 58. 
March, Walter,_ 197. 
Marchand, Louis, 33. 
Margane, Francois. See Bissot, 

Francois Marie. 
Margane, Francois, Sieur de 

Batilly, godfather of Sieur de 

Vincennes, 81-2; sketch of, 


Margane, des Forets et de La 
Valtne Pierre, sketch of, 122 

Margane de Lavaltrie, Seraphin, 
marries Louise Bissot, 1 I ; 
sketch of, 105-121; officer in 
Regiment de Carignan, 106-8; 
children of, 109-112. 

Marie Louisa. See Mrs. Rich 
ardville, 321. 

Markland, Augustus, 397, 402. 

Markland, Matthew. 397, 402 

Markland, Tony, 402. 

Markland, Wm, 397, 402. 

Martin, Mrs. Betsy, 251. 

Martin. S. Wesley, 502. 

May, George, 388. 

May, Ruble, 402. 

Mears, Dr. George W., 188. 

Medlock, Cam., 395. 

Medlock, Henry W.. 397-9. 

Medlock, Reuben, 395. 

Meigs, Prof. Chas. D., 273, note. 

Mendez, Diego, 478. 

Merrill, Samuel, 244, 256. 

Metcalf, Dr. C. N., 287. 

Miller, Elizabeth (Mrs. Oren S. 
Hack), article by, 450-480. 

Mills, Caleb, 259. 

Milroy, John, 218, 220. 

Mitchell, Dr. S. G., 262, 277. 

Mobley, Chas. W., 394. 

Moniz, Philippa, marries Colum- 
bus, 453. 

Montraville, 297. 

Montroill, robbery by, 356. 

Moores, Mrs. Chas. W., trans- 
lates documents, 8. 

Moores, Hon. Merrill, finds 
Pierre Georges Roy, 6-7. 

Morgan, John, Confederate gen- 
eral ; raid in Indiana. 133- 
183; preceding troubles. 133- 
9; Shackelford's account. 141; 
Gen. Hobson's account, 142-3 : 
Basil Duke's account. 143- 
5 ; Morgan's forces. 145 ; route 
followed, 146-9; nature of 
country raided. 150-2; crosses 
Ohio river, 153-6; prepara- 



tions for defense, 157-8; de- 
tails of raid, 159-178; cost to 
state, 182. 

Morgan, R. P., 494. 

Morris, Caleb W., 394. 

Morris, Charles, 397, 402. 

Morris, Frank, 397, 402. 

Morris, Fred, 401, 402. 

Morris, George, 397, 401, 402. 

Morris, Harvey, 368 ; article by, 

Morris, J., 351. 

Morris, Jehosaphat, 387. 

Morris, Jehosaphat M., Jr., 395. 

Morris, John, 401, 402. 

Morris, Morris, 255. 

Morris, Pritchard, 387. 

Alorris, Gen. Thomas A., 255. 

Morris, Capt. Thos., rescue of, 

Morrison, James, 189, 190. 

Morton, Gov. Oliver P., proc- 
lamation in Morgan's raid, 
156-8; borrows money, 260. 

Muller, Johannes, Calendarium 
of, 479. 

Munroe, Henry C, 390. 

Murray, Major Patrick, 297, 300, 
312, 332, 340. 

Neale, T. M., 488. 

Newby, Albert, 402. 

Newcomb, Horatio C, 189. 

Noble, James, 259. 

Noble, Gov. Noah, 276. 

Nowland, Mrs. Matthias, 247. 

Nowland, Sarah Anne, 248. 

O'Kane, Elder John, 194. 

O'Neal, Hugh, 189, 203. 

Otwell, Lt. Francis, 425. 

Ouabimanitou (i. e. White Ma- 
nito), Indian chief, 62. 

Owen, Robert Dale, 234. 

Paillet (Payet), Mr. and Mrs., 
310, 311, 335, 337, 349, 350, 354. 

Pantonne, Etienne, 330. 

Pamoussa, Indian chief, 46, 62. 

Parker, Benj. S., 228. 

Parks, Judge Samuel C, 507, 

Partridge, Dr. J. M., 287. 

Patterson, Elizabeth, 245. 

Patterson, Mrs. Jane, 248. 

Paxton, Mrs. James, 249. 

Payet, Louis, 311. 

Payette, Diaum, 330. 

Paynter, Caleb, 394. 

Paynter, Christian L., 394. 

Paynter, Dr. Charles B., 401. 

Paynter, George, 394. 

Paynter, Harry, 394. 

Paynter, John, 394. 

Paynter, Lawrence W., 402. 

Pecan, Miami chief, 313. 

Pecaudy de contrecoeur, Capt., 

Peck, Hy, 394. 

Perier, Gov., instructions to con- 
cerning Post Vincennes, 87-8. 

Perrot, Nicolas, quoted, 107. 

Perrot, Pierre, 23. 

Peshewa, Indian chief. See Jean 
Baptiste Richardville. 

Petite Face (Indian), 329, 331. 

Phillipps, John, 307. 

Pitcher, John, Lincoln's teacher, 
485, 490. 

Pogue, Widow (of George), 217. 

Poitevin de la Salmonais, Jean 
Baptiste, marries Angelique 
Bissot, 20. 

Polk, James K., 234. 

Pope, Judge Nathaniel, 492. 

The Porcupine (Indian), 329, 
330 337. 

Porter, Albert G., 189, 287. 

Pratt, Lieut. John, 307. 

Proctor, Rev. David C, 263. 

Prow, Christian, 388. 

Prow, Christian, Jr., 395. 

Pugh, John, 276. 

Quaife, M. M., article on Fort 
Wayne in 1790, 293-361, 310. 

Quarles, Wm, 189. 

Quintanilla, Don Alonzo de, be- 
friends Columbus, 458-9. 

Rainbease, Henri, 330. 

Ralston, Alexander, 245-6. 

Rand, Frederick, 207. 

Ranjard, Mrs., 310, 316, 321, 325, 
333, 334. 



Rariden, James, 259. 
Rariden, Mary, 201. 
Ray, James M., 254. 
Ray, Col. John W., 248. 
Raymond, M. de, commands at 

Kiskakon, 74. 
Ream, Capt. Charles, 412. 
Redfield, Capt. J. B., 413. 
Richardson, Wm. A., 494. 
Richardville, Drouet de, 100. 
Richardville, Jean B a p t i s t e , 
chief, 314, 337, 339, 342, 346, 
352, 353, 360. 
Richardville, Mrs., mother of 
Chief Jean Baptiste, 314 ; 
sister of Little Turtle, 321, 
322, 360. 
Ridge, Mrs. John T. R., 431. 
Riley, James Whitcomb, 228, 241. 
Riney, Zachariah, Lincoln's 

teacher, 485. 
Ringo, Morgan, 221. 
Rivard (Rivarre), Mr. and Mrs., 
309, 310, 316, 318, 328, 333, 349. 
Robertson, Jack, 350. 
Robertson, Wm., 300, 306, 319, 

324, 348, 350. 
Robideau, 335, 347. 
Rodman, Admiral Hugh, 382. 
Rodman, Frank, 402. 
Rodman, Hugh, 382-3, 394. 
Rodman, James, 382, 383-4, 394. 
Rodman, Jasper N., 394. 
Rodman, John, 382, 39L 
Rodman, Gen. Thos. J., 368, 382, 

Rodman, Wm., 382. 
Rose, Chauncey, 235. 
Rous, Capt. Percy, 412. 
Rowland, John, 388. 
Roy, Joseph, S i e u r de Vin- 

cennes, 25. 
Roy, Pierre Georges ; demon- 
strates identity of Sieur de 
Vincennes, 3; sketch of, 4; 
works of, 5-6; meeting with 
Hon. Merrill Moores, 6-7. 
Rudolph, T. T., 506. 
Ryan, Felix, 505, 512. 
Russell Col. Alexander, 251-2. 

Saguima (i. e. The Mosquito) 

Indian chief, 47, 50, 67. 
St. Ange, fils, 84; killed. 100, 

St. Ange, Louis, 104. 
St. Ange, pere, 84, 91, 93. 95 

St. Clair, Gen. Arthur, 302. 359 

Sanders, Andrew J., 413. 
Sayles, Stephen D., 395. 
Schower, Joseph, surveyor of 

National road, 215. 
Scudder, Caleb, 264. 
Sebastian, Wm., 232. 
Senat, Father Antoine, 100. 102. 
Sevenick, Dr. B, 279. 
Sevestre, Charles, 24. 
Shackelford, Gen. James M., re- 
port of Morgan's raid, 141-2. 
Shanks, Lewis, 395. 
Sharp, George, 306, 341, 348, 361. 
Sharpe, Thomas H., 263. 
Sheets, John, 280-1. 

Sheets, William, 263. 

Shepherd, 361. 

Sherlock, 356, 357. 

Shields, Gen. James A., 494. 

Short, Aaron, 388. 

Short, Jacob, 388. 

Short, Madison, 375, 388. 445-0 

Shrum, Moses, 395. 

Shull, Silas, 402. 

Shull, Volney, 397. 

The Sirropp ( Syrup-Indian ), 

Smith, Judge Daniel R.. 186, 187. 

Smith, Elbert, 402. 

Smith, George, 520. 

Smith, Lewis N., 394. 

Smith, Dr. Spencer, 397. 

Smith. Oliver H., 189, 190. 191. 
192, 195, 259. 

The Soldier (Indian chief), 329. 

Soliday, Daniel, 388. 

Solidav, Jacob, 389. 

Souder, Martin, 395. 

Spangler Vance, 402. 



Speed, Joshua F., 498. 

Spencer, Rev. 0. M., 305, 306, 
310, 319, 333. 

Spigler, John, 395. 

Stalnaker, Frank D., 197. 

Stanley, Jesse, 388. 

Stanley, Olive, 396. _ 

Starr, Prof. Frederic, 371. 

Stevens, Judge Stephen C, 197. 

Stevens, Dr. Thaddeus M., 287. 

Stevens, Warden W., 368, 374; 
article by, 440-7. 

Stocker, Dr., 372. 

Stone, Judge Dan, 494, 499. 

Stout, Corporal Ira, 412. 

Stout, Thomas, Gen. Morgan's 
treatment of, 170-1. 

Stover, Major Abram, 375-9, 

Strain, Robert, 388. 

Strong, Capt. David, 307, 308. 

Stuart, Major John T., 487, 491, 
494, 495, 496, 503. 

Sulgrove, Berry, quoted, 249. 

Sullivan, Judge Jeremiah, 244, 

Sutton, Dr. George, 284. 

Sweett, Leonard, 503. 

Sweetzer, James L., 196. 

Sweetzer, Philip, 189. 

Takumwa. See Mrs. Richard- 
ville, 321. 

Talon, Jean. Intendant. god- 
father of Jean Baptiste Bissot, 
31 ; grants fief of Vincennes, 

Tappan, Col. M. W., 412. 

Tarbell, Miss Ida, 514. 

Tatlock, Robert, 395. 

Taylor, Napoleon B., 207. 

Taylor, Robert, 230. 

Terrell, Gen. W. H. H., 419. 

Thatcher, John Boyd, quoted, 
460, 467; acknowledgement to, 

Thomas, , 279. 

Tonty, Henri de, commands at 
Detroit^ 41. 

Toscanelli, Paola, and Colum- 
bus, 456-7, 462, 464. 

Treat, Judge Saml. H, 492, 504, 

Tremblais, 327. 

Troxell, Joseph Reeder, 205. 

Trueblood, Benj. F., 397. 

Trueblood, Elwood, 396. 

Trueblood, Thomas, 396. 

Uppinghouse,- Alfred, 394. 

Uppinghouse, Brad, 394. 

Uppinghouse, James, 379, 440, 
442, 445. 

Uppinghouse, Robert, 394. 

Van Buren, Martin, 234. 

Van Buskirk. See Buskirk. 

Vance, David, 388. 

Vederic, Jean Pierre Francois, 
marries Marie Charlotte Bis- 
sot, 21. 

Vincennes, Francois Marie Bis- 
sot, Sieur de ; founder of Post 
Vincennes ; causes uncertainty 
by assuming name of godfath- 
er, Francois Margane, 3. See 

Vinnedge, Dr. W. W., 287. 

Vivie, 357. 

Volant d' Hautebourg, Jean 
Louis, leases Mingan seignory, 

Walker, Admiral, wreck of 
fleet, 26, 43-4. 

Wallace, Gov. David, 199. 

Wallace, Gen. Lew, 199. 

Wallace, William, 199, 207. 

Walpole, Robert L., 189, 196, 
201, 202, 203. 

Washburne, Elihu B., 496. 

Washington, Augustine, 209-10. 

Washington, George, 210, 211, 

Waterman, Dr. Luther D., 271. 

Werden, William, 230. 

Weston, George, 395. 

Weston, Win, 395. 

Whitcomb, Gov. James, 259. 

White, F., 286. 

Whitney, Henry C, 503. 

Wick, Daniel B., 259. 

Wick, Judge Wm. Watson, 186- 
7, 259. 



Wick, Mrs. Wm. W., 257, 259. 
Williams, Jacob, 397. 
Wilson, Mrs. Alex., 260. 
Wilson, Isaac, 247. 
Wilson, Wm., 402. 
Wishard, Dr. Wm. H., 265. 
Witherington, John, 296, 359. 
The Wolf, Shawnee chief, 353. 
Woodard, Charles, 275. 
Woodburn, Mrs. Ann, 248. 

Woollen, Wm. Wesley, Quoted 

Wright, Philbert Marion, 396 
Wyant, John, 251-2. 
Yandes, Daniel, 255-6. 
Yandes, Simon, 189, 190, L92 

195, 196. 
Young, James, 388, 394. 
Young, Milas, 394-5. 
Zink, John, 389-390.